Edited by: Rich Norris
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Happy Fourth of July, everyone! Today’s themed answers each end with a type of BUMP:
- 55A. Disagree … or, literally, what the last words of 18-, 23-, 35-, and 49-Across can be : BUMP HEADS
- 18A. Vodka brand with flying birds on the bottle : GREY GOOSE (giving “goosebump”)
- 23A. Racing bike : TEN-SPEED (giving “speed bump”)
- 35A. One “there on the sand,” in a 1974 hit by The First Class : BEACH BABY (giving “baby bump”)
- 49A. Symbol of absolute rule : IRON FIST (giving “fist bump”)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
11. Fat meas. : BMI
The body mass index (BMI) is the ratio of a person’s height to his or her mass.
14. __ sanctum : INNER
A “sanctum” (plural “sancta”) is a private place where one can hide away without fear of intrusion. I love my sanctum …
15. Jar Jar Binks’ planet : NABOO
Jar Jar Binks is a comedic character who appears in Episodes I-III of the “Star Wars” movies. Binks hails from the planet Naboo, which is eventually ruled by Queen Padmé Amidala (played by Natalie Portman). Apparently, the hardcore “Star Wars” fans aren’t big fans of Mr. Binks.
16. Olive product : OIL
Virgin olive oil is oil produced from olives with no chemical treatment involved in the production process at all. To be labelled “virgin”, the oil must have an acidity level of less than 2% and must be be judged to have “a good taste”. Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) comes from virgin oil production, and is the portion with acidity levels of less than 0.8% acidity that is judged to have “superior taste”.
17. __ Park: San Diego Padres’ home : PETCO
Petco Park is the ballpark used by the San Diego Padres since 2004. Before Petco Park was opened, the Padres shared Qualcomm Stadium with the San Diego Chargers of the NFL. When the new Padres stadium was being built, fans were offered the chance to buy bricks on which a dedication could be written. The animal rights group PETA tried to buy a brick in order to write a protest message against Petco’s treatment of animals, but were denied. PETA managed sneak their message onto a brick, which reads “Break Open Your Cold Ones, Toast the Padres, Enjoy This Champion Organization”. If you take the first letters of each word in the message you come up with “BOYCOTT PETCO”.
18. Vodka brand with flying birds on the bottle : GREY GOOSE (giving “goosebump”)
Grey Goose is a vodka that is produced in France. The beverage was developed especially for the American market using resources and expertise available in the French Cognac region.
The terms “goosebumps” and “goose flesh” come from the fact that skin which is cold can look like the flesh of a plucked goose.
22. Dol. parts : CTS
The “$” sign was first used for the Spanish American peso, in the late 18th century. The peso was also called the “Spanish dollar” (and “piece of eight”). The Spanish dollar was to become the model for the US dollar that was adopted in 1785, along with the “$” sign.
23. Racing bike : TEN-SPEED (giving “speed bump”)
The traffic calming device we call a “speed bump” over here in the US, is known by the colorful name “sleeping policeman” in the UK.
25. Muse of comedy : THALIA
In Greek mythology, the muses are the goddesses who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. The number of muses is a subject of debate at times, but the most popular view is that there are nine:
- Calliope (epic poetry)
- Clio (history)
- Erato (lyric poetry)
- Euterpe (music)
- Melpomene (tragedy)
- Polyhymnia (choral poetry)
- Terpsichore (dance)
- Thalia (comedy)
- Urania (astronomy)
Before the adoption of the nine muses of Greek mythology, there were originally three muses, the three Boeotian Muses. These were:
- Mneme (memory)
- Melete (meditation)
- Aoede (song)
28. Dodge City’s state : KANSAS
Fort Dodge was in Kansas, on the Santa Fe Trail (connecting Missouri with Santa Fe, New Mexico). The fort was named after Major General Grenville M. Dodge who was in charge of the army presence in the area. Fort Dodge gave its name to Dodge City, which grew up nearby the fort.
29. “Pop goes” critters : WEASELS
“Pop! Goes the Weasel” is an English nursery rhyme, and a relatively young one that probably dates back only to the mid-1800s. No one really knows for certain the significance of the “pop” or the “weasel”.
31. “Melrose __” : PLACE
“Melrose Place” is a soap opera that originally aired from 1992 to 1999. “Melrose” was a spinoff of the hit show “Beverly Hills, 90210”. The show’s name comes from where the story is set, in an apartment complex with the address of 4616 Melrose Place in West Hollywood, California. “Melrose Place” was rebooted in 2009 (and some called “Melrose Place 2.0”, but was canceled after just one season.
34. Jason of “How I Met Your Mother” : SEGEL
Actor Jason Segel is best known for playing Marshall on the sitcom “How I Met Your Mother”. Marshall is an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church and performed a wedding ceremony on “The Tonight Show” in 2010.
“How I Met Your Mother” is a sitcom that CBS has been airing since 2005. The main character is Ted Mosby, played by Josh Radnor. Mosby is also the narrator for the show looking back from the year 2030 (the live action is set in the present). As narrator, the older Mosby character is voiced by Bob Saget.
35. One “there on the sand,” in a 1974 hit by The First Class : BEACH BABY (giving “baby bump”)
The First Class is a pop band from London, England who were active in the mid-seventies. They were a one-hit wonder, with that hit being 1974’s “Beach Baby”.
“Baby bump” is an informal term used by some to describe the enlargement of a pregnant woman’s belly.
37. Groucho’s smoke : CIGAR
Groucho Marx’s real name was Julius Henry Marx. By the time Groucho started his successful, post-Hollywood career hosting the quiz show “You Bet Your Life”, he was sporting a real mustache. For all his movies, his mustache had been painted on with greasepaint.
40. Waste maker, per a proverb : HASTE
Haste makes waste.
41. Santa __, Calif. : ANA
Santa Ana is the county seat of Orange County, California and takes its name from the Santa Ana River that runs through the city.
48. Tristan’s beloved : ISOLDE
According to Arthurian legend, Iseult (also “Isolde”) was the adulterous lover of Sir Tristan, one of the Knights of the Round Table. Iseult was an Irish Princess who fell in love with Tristan who had been sent to win Iseult’s hand in marriage for King Mark of Cornwall. The tale was used as the basis for Richard Wagner’s celebrated opera “Tristan und Isolde”.
49. Symbol of absolute rule : IRON FIST (giving “fist bump”)
The fist bump is that tapping of fists together as a form of greeting. It is a more “hip” version of a handshake, a might be called a “pounding of flesh”.
51. Dallas home of the NCAA’s Mustangs : SMU
Southern Methodist University (SMU) is located in University Park, Texas (part of Dallas), and was founded in 1911. The school’s athletic teams are known as the Mustangs. Also, SMU is home to the George W. Bush Presidential Library.
52. Second rock from the sun : VENUS
The planet Venus is the second brightest object in the night sky, after our Moon.
54. Barrister’s practice : LAW
In a common law jurisdiction with a split legal profession, such as England, lawyers can be either solicitors or barristers. Someone needing legal help will retain a solicitor for that purpose. If a court trial is required, then a barrister is retained to make representation before a judge and perhaps a jury. The barrister is the lawyer who wears the wig.
57. “Water Lilies” painter Claude : MONET
French artist Claude Monet was one of the founders of the Impressionist movement, and indeed the term “Impressionism” comes from the title of his 1872 painting “Impression, Sunrise”. That work depicts the port of Le Havre, which was Monet’s hometown. Later in his life, Monet purchased a house in Giverny, and famously installed lily ponds and a Japanese bridge in the property’s extensive gardens. He spent two decades painting the water lily ponds, producing his most famous works.
“Water Lilies” by French Impressionist Claude Monet is actually a whole series of paintings, numbering about 250 in total. The subjects of the works were the water lilies in Monet’s flower garden at Giverny in northern France.
59. Mrs., to Claude : MME
The equivalent of “Mrs.” in French is “Mme.” (Madame), in Spanish is “Sra.” (Señora) and in Portuguese is also “Sra.” (Senhora).
60. Jazz great Shaw : ARTIE
Artie Shaw was a composer, bandleader and a jazz clarinetist. Shaw’s real name was Arthur Jacob Arshawsky, born in New York City in 1910. One of his many claims to fame is that he (a white bandleader) hired Billie Holiday (a black vocalist) and toured the segregated South in the late thirties. Holiday chose to leave the band though, due to hostility from Southern audiences back then. Artie Shaw was married eight times in all. The list of his wives includes the actresses Lana Turner and Ava Gardner, as well as Betty Kern, daughter of songwriter Jerome Kern.
61. Hawaiian veranda : LANAI
A lanai is a type of veranda, and a design that originated in Hawaii. A kind blog reader tells me that the etymology of “lanai” seems unclear, but that the island name of “Lana’i” is not related.
63. Small plateaus : MESAS
“What’s the difference between a butte and a mesa?” Both are hills with flat tops, but a mesa has a top that is wider than it is tall. A butte is a much narrower formation, taller than it is wide.
3. Cell reception aid : ANTENNA
An antenna’s job is to convert electrical power into radio waves, and radio waves into an electrical signal. The first antennas were built by the German physicist Heinrich Hertz in 1888.
5. “No more seats” Broadway sign : SRO
Standing room only (SRO)
6. Actress Dickinson : ANGIE
The actress Angie Dickinson is perhaps best known for playing the lead in the seventies TV crime show “Police Woman”. Dickinson also played the female lead opposite Frank Sinatra in the 1960 film “Ocean’s 11”. She then had a cameo role in the 2001’s “Ocean’s Eleven”, appearing as a spectator at the boxing match. in the Dickinson was married to composer Burt Bacharach for 15 years.
9. Road Runner’s pursuer : COYOTE
Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner are two much-loved cartoon characters from Warner Bros. Wile E. Coyote was created first, and Road Runner was invented as someone for Wile E. to play off. I love this cartoon; definitely one of the best …
10. Dress fancily, with “up” : TOG
The verb “tog up”, meaning to dress up, comes from the Latin “toga”, the garment worn in Ancient Rome. “Tog” can be also be used as an informal word for a coat or a cloak. Back in Ireland, togs are what we call swimming shorts.
11. Illegal, like movies on file-sharing sites : BOOTLEG
“To bootleg” is to make or smuggle alcoholic drinks illegally. The term arose in the late 1800s as slang for the practice of concealing a flask of liquor down the leg of a high boot. The term has been extended to mean the illegal production and sale of just about anything.
19. Irish playwright Sean : O’CASEY
Seán O’Casey was an Irish playwright noted for his works exploring the plight of the working class in Dublin. O’Casey’s most famous works are “Juno and the Paycock” and “The Plough and the Stars”.
21. Maker of the first electric sports car : TESLA
Tesla Motors is a manufacturer of electric vehicles based in Palo Alto, California. Tesla is noted for producing the first electric sports car, called the Tesla Roadster. The company followed the sports car with a luxury sedan, the Model S. The Model S was the world’s best selling plug-in electric vehicle of 2015.
23. Fight ender, briefly : TKO
In boxing, a knockout (KO) is when one of the fighters can’t get up from the canvas within a specified time, usually 10 seconds. This can be due to fatigue, injury, or the participant may be truly “knocked out”. A referee, fighter or doctor may also decide to stop a fight without a physical knockout, especially if there is concern about a fighter’s safety. In this case the bout is said to end with a technical knockout (TKO).
27. Comm. for the hearing-impaired : ASL
It’s really quite unfortunate that American Sign Language (ASL) and British Sign Language (BSL) are very different, and someone who has learned to sign in one cannot understand someone signing in the other.
32. “__ Breaky Heart” : ACHY
“Achy Breaky Heart” is a country song that was originally titled “Don’t Tell My Heart” when first released by The Marcy Brothers in 1991. It became “Achy Breaky Heart” when recorded by Billy Ray Cyrus in 1992.
33. Half a dance : CHA
The cha-cha-cha (often simplified to “cha-cha”) is a Latin dance with origins in Cuba, where it was introduced by composer Enrique Jorrin in 1953.
36. A Musketeer : ATHOS
Alexandre Dumas’ “Three Musketeers” are Athos, Porthos and Aramis, although the hero of the novel is their young protégé is D’Artagnan. A musketeer was an infantry soldier who was equipped with a musket. Funnily enough, the three “musketeers” really don’t use their muskets, and are better known for prowess with their swords.
37. Movie SFX : CGI
Computer-generated imagery (CGI)
“FX” is an abbreviation for “effects”, as in “special effects”, sometimes referred to as “SFX”.
39. Latched (onto) : GLOMMED
“Glom” is a slang term meaning “steal”, although it can also be used to mean “latch onto” when used as “glom onto”. The term probably comes from the Scots word “glam” meaning “to snatch at”.
41. Journalist Huffington : ARIANNA
“The Huffington Post” is a news website founded in 2005 by Arianna Huffington. It is a very active site, with 3,000 people contributing blog posts (including many celebrities and politicians), and readers leaving over one million comments every month. “The Huffington Post” was sold to AOL in 2011 for $315 million, with Arianna Huffington staying on as editor-in-chief.
45. Midnight rider Paul : REVERE
Paul Revere is famous for having alerted the Colonial militia when the British military arrived in the build up to the battles of Lexington and Concord. Revere earned his living as a silversmith. After the war, Revere returned to his trade and diversified into other metalwork. Revere was the first American to develop a process to roll copper into sheets so that the metal could be used to sheathe the hulls of naval vessels.
49. Nepal neighbor : INDIA
The Indus river rises in Tibet and flows through the length of Pakistan and empties into the Arabian Sea, the part of the Indian Ocean lying to the west of the Indian subcontinent. The Indus gives its name to the country of India as “India” used to be the name of the region along the eastern banks of the river, which paradoxically is now in modern-day Pakistan.
Nepal lies to the northeast of India. Today, the state is known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. In 2008, the Communist Party of Nepal won the country’s general election. Soon after, the Assembly voted to change the form of government, moving away from a monarchy and creating a secular republic.
55. 7 Series automaker : BMW
The abbreviation BMW stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke, which translates into Bavarian Motor Works. BMW was making aircraft engines during WWI, but had to cease that activity according to the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. The company then started making motorcycles, and moved into automobile production starting in 1928. BMW moved back into aircraft engine manufacturing during the build-up of the Luftwaffe prior to WWII.
57. L.A. Galaxy’s org. : MLS
The LA Galaxy is one of the ten charter clubs of Major League Soccer (MLS). The team is known for signing some high-profile players from more established leagues. England star and celebrity David Beckham played for the Galaxy from 2007 to 2012.