Edited by: Rich Norris
Quicklink to comments
Today’s answers are all common phrases, but with the prefix AC- inserted:
- 20A. Rudely confront espionage supervisors? : ACCOST CONTROLS (AC + “cost controls”)
- 34A. Agreement on the ratio of innies to outies? : UMBILICAL ACCORD (AC + “umbilical cord”)
- 40A. Ones meekly entering debits and credits? : ACCOUNTING SHEEP (AC + “counting sheep”)
- 51A. High praise at a carousel? : BAGGAGE ACCLAIM (AC + “baggage claim”)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
5. Walk through puddles : SLOSH
We’ve been using the word “puddle” to mean “small pool of muddy water” since the 15th century. The term ultimately comes from the the German “pudeln” meaning “to splash in water”. “Pudelm” is also the derivation of “poodle”, a breed of dog that was used in hunting waterfowl. So, “poodle” and “puddle” are cousins. Quite interesting …
10. Mosul’s home : IRAQ
Mosul is located in northern Iraq and is the third largest city in the country, after Baghdad and Basra.
15. Princess Toadstool’s rescuer : MARIO
In Nintendo’s “Mario” universe, Princess Peach is the princess of the Mushroom Kingdom. Princess Peach is referred to as Princess Toadstool in the “Super Mario” cartoon spinoff. Why? Dunno …
17. Online gaming tyro : NOOB
“Noob” is a not-so-nice slang term for a “newbie”, often someone new to an online community.
A tyro (also “tiro”) is a beginner or a novice. “Tyro” comes into English from Latin, in which “tiro” means “a recruit”.
18. Salem residents : OREGONIANS
Salem is the state capital of Oregon. It is thought that the city takes its name from the older city of Salem, Massachusetts.
22. OPEC member : UAE
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven emirates (states) in the Middle East. Included in the seven are Abu Dhabi and Dubai, with the city of Abu Dhabi being the UAE capital and cultural center.
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)
23. Guzzler : SOT
Our word “sot” comes from the Old English “sott”, meaning “fool”. The word “sot” started to be associated with alcohol and not just foolery in the late 1500s.
24. Holy verse : PSALM
The Greek word “psalmoi” originally meant “songs sung to a harp”, and gave us the word “psalms”. In the Jewish and Western Christian traditions, the Book of Psalms contains 150 individual psalms, divided into five sections.
27. Letters by the shore : SPF
In theory, the sun protection factor (SPF) is a calibrated measure of the effectiveness of a sunscreen in protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. The idea is that if you wear a lotion with say SPF 20, then it takes 20 times as much UV radiation to cause the skin to burn than it would take without protection. I say just stay out of the sun …
34. Agreement on the ratio of innies to outies? : UMBILICAL ACCORD (AC + “umbilical cord”)
The navel is basically a scar left behind when the umbilical cord is removed from a newborn baby. One interesting use of the umbilicus (navel, belly button) is to differentiate between identical twins, especially when they are very young.
37. Quote from a goat : MAA!
“Maa” is the call of a goat.
39. “O Sole __” : MIO
“‘O sole mio” is a famous Italian song from Naples, written in 1898. The song’s lyrics are usually sung in the original Neapolitan, as opposed to Italian. The title translates from Neapolitan into “My Sun” (and not into “O, My Sun” as one might expect). It’s a love song of course, sung by a young man declaring that there is a sun brighter than that in the sky, the sun that is his lover’s face. Awww …
47. Big name in electric cars : 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.
48. Somerhalder of “The Vampire Diaries” : IAN
Ian Somerhalder got his big break as an actor in the TV drama “Lost”, and followed that up with a part in TV’s “The Vampire Diaries”.
“The Vampire Diaries” is a series of horror novels by L. J. Smith that is aimed at teens. There is a spinoff television series of the same name. I don’t do vampires …
50. Org. that helps you find a way : AAA
The American Automobile Association (AAA) is a not-for-profit organization focused on lobbying, provision of automobile servicing, and selling of automobile insurance. The AAA was founded in 1902 in Chicago and published the first of its celebrated hotel guides back in 1917.
60. Apple talker : SIRI
Siri is a software application that works with Apple’s iOS operating system. “Siri” is an acronym standing for Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface. You’ve probably seen the ads on television, with folks talking to their iPhones asking for information and responding with a voice. I hear that Google is a little scared by Siri, as Siri is non-visual. There’s no need to touch a screen or a keyboard to work with Siri, no opportunity to click on one of Google’s ads! By the way, voice-over artist Susan Bennett revealed herself as the female American voice of Siri not that long ago. The British version of Siri is called Daniel, and the Australian version is called Karen. Also, “Siri” is a Norwegian name meaning “beautiful woman who leads you to victory”, and was the name the developer had chosen for his first child.
63. Noodle variety : UDON
Udon noodles are made from wheat-flour and are very popular in Japanese cuisine like tempura.
64. Upscale : POSH
No one really knows the etymology of the word “posh”. The popular myth that POSH is actually an acronym standing for “Port Out, Starboard Home” is completely untrue, and is a story that can actually be traced back to the 1968 movie “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”. The myth is that wealthy British passengers travelling to and from India would book cabins on the port side for the outward journey and the starboard side for the home journey. This trick was supposedly designed to keep their cabins out of the direct sunlight.
65. Cut with a beam : LASED
The term “laser” is an acronym standing for “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation” (LASER). It has been pointed out that a more precise name for laser technology is “Light Oscillation by Stimulated Emission of Radiation”, but the resulting acronym isn’t quite so appealing, namely LOSER!
1. Ultimate Fighting Championship president White : DANA
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is a largest promoter in the world of mixed martial arts competitions. I think the idea is that competitors fight each other in various disciplines to see who is the “best of the best” …
2. Biennial games org. : USOC
The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has a federal charter but it doesn’t receive any funds from the US government. As such, it has to engage in fundraising just like any other charitable organization. The USOC was founded in 1894, and is headquartered in Colorado Springs.
3. Fair-hiring agcy. : EEOC
“Equal Employment Opportunity” (EEO) is a term that has been around since 1964 when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was set up by the Civil Rights Act. Title VII of the Act prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin or religion.
4. Mediterranean salad : TABOULI
Tabouleh (also “tabouli”) is one my my favorite dishes. It is usually made from bulgur, tomato, cucumber, parsley, mint, onion, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice. Just writing that list of ingredients gets my mouth watering …
6. Prix de __ de Triomphe: annual horse race : L’ARC
The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is is run at Longchamp every year, and is arguably the most prestigious horse race run in Europe. The race is often promoted with the slogan “Ce n’est pas une course, c’est un monument”, which translates as “It’s not a race, it’s a monument”.
7. Oft-twisted cookie : OREO
There is an “official” competition involving Oreo cookies, in case anyone is interested in participating. A competitor has to take several steps to finish an OREO Lick Race:
- Twist open the cookie.
- Lick each half clean of creme.
- Show the clean cookie halves to the fellow competitors.
- Dunk the cookie halves in a glass of milk.
- Eat the cookie halves.
- Drink the milk.
- Ready, set, go …
12. Coulter and Curry : ANNS
Ann Coulter is a conservative political commentator. Coulter has written several successful books, including:
- “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” outlines her case for the impeachment of President Clinton.
- “Slander” argues that President George W. Bush was given unfair coverage by the media.
- “Treason” is a reexamination of the Cold War, suggesting that the the extent of Communist infiltration was underestimated.
The television journalist Ann Curry is perhaps best known for the time she spent as co-host on NBC’s “Today” show. NBC executives asked Curry to resign from the “Today” show because ratings were low. I just read online that Curry was also pushed out because of the way she insisted on dressing and because she refused to dye her gray hair. I hope that isn’t true …
13. Liq. measures : QTS
The quart, the unit of volume, is so called because it is one quarter of a gallon.
19. Campus org. for future ensigns : NROTC
Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC)
Ensign is (usually) the most junior rank of commissioned officer in the armed forces. The name comes from the tradition that the junior officer would be given the task of carrying the ensign flag.
24. Adidas alternatives : PUMAS
Puma is a German company that sells athletic shoes worldwide. The company is most famous for its line of soccer boots.
The brand name Adidas dates back to when Adolf “Adi” Dassler started making his own sports shoes in his mother’s laundry room in Bavaria after returning from WWI. With his brother, Adi founded Dassler shoes. The company’s big break came in 1936 at the Berlin Olympics, when Adi persuaded American sprinter Jesse Owens to use his shoes, and with the success of Jesse Owens came success for the fledgling shoe company. After WWII the brothers split, acrimoniously. Adi’s brother, Ru-dolf Da-ssler, formed “Ruda” shoes (later to become Puma), and Adi Das-sler formed “Adidas”.
26. Old counters : ABACI
The abacus (plural “abaci”) was used as a counting frame long before man had invented a numbering system. It is a remarkable invention, particularly when one notes that abaci are still widely used today across Africa and Asia.
27. Great guy? : SCOTT
No one seems to know for sure who the Scott is in the exclamation “great Scott!”. One theory is that the reference is to the commander-in-chief of the US Army during the Civil War, General Winfield Scott. Scott weighed in at 300 pounds later in his life, and was so obese that he could not ride a horse.
29. Fire starter : FLINT
Flint is a form of the mineral quartz. Flint can be used to start a fire. The hard edge of flint when struck against steel can shave off a particle of the metal. The particle of steel contains exposed iron that reacts with oxygen in the air creating a spark that can light dry tinder.
31. Common state capital features : DOMES
A capitol is a building in which a legislature meets. Such buildings are often constructed with an impressive dome. The term “capitol” is a reference to the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, the most important temple in Ancient Rome, and which sat on top of Capitoline Hill.
32. Moon of Uranus : ARIEL
All of the twenty-seven moons of the planet Uranus are named for characters from literature, characters created by William Shakespeare and Alexander Pope. The five major moons are so large that they would be considered planets in their own right if they were orbiting the sun directly. The names of these five moons are:
- Miranda (from Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”)
- Ariel (from Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” and Pope’s “The Rape of the Lock”)
- Umbriel (from Pope’s “The Rape of the Lock”)
- Titania (from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”)
- Oberon (from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”)
33. Parkinson’s drug : L-DOPA
The name of the drug L-3,4-DihydrOxyPhenylAlanine can be shortened, thankfully, to L-DOPA. Swedish scientist Arvid Carlsson won a Nobel Prize for showing that L-DOPA could be used to reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s Syndrome.
36. “Life of Pi” director Lee : ANG
Taiwanese director Ang Lee sure has directed a mixed bag of films, mixed in terms of genre but not in terms of quality. He was at the helm for such classics as “Sense & Sensibility” (my personal favorite), “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, “Hulk”, “Brokeback Mountain” and “Life of Pi”.
The 2012 movie “Life of Pi” is based on a 2001 novel of the same name by Yann Martel. The “Pi” in the title is an Indian boy named Pi Patel who finds himself adrift for 227 days in small boat with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.
43. Legato’s opposite, in mus. : STAC
Staccato is a musical direction signifying that notes should be played in a disconnected form. The opposite of staccato would be legato, indicating long and continuous notes played very smoothly.
51. Indicación de afecto : BESO
In Spanish, a “beso” (kiss) is an “indicación de afecto” (display of affection).
52. Sacred chests : ARKS
The Torah ark is found in a synagogue, and is the ornamental container in which are stored the Torah scrolls. The word “Torah” best translates as “teaching”, I am told.
53. Arizona river : GILA
The Gila River is a tributary of the Colorado and flows through New Mexico and Arizona. From 1848 to 1853, the Gila marked part of the border between the US and Mexico.
54. “The Dukes of Hazzard” deputy : ENOS
Enos Strate (played by Sonny Shroyer) was the small-town deputy in the television sitcom “The Dukes of Hazzard”, and the success of his character merited a follow-on show. The spinoff “Enos” only ran for 18 episodes though.
“The Dukes of Hazzard” is a comedy adventure TV show that originally aired from 1979 to 1985. The title characters are Bo and Luke Duke, two cousins from the rural part of the fictional county of Hazzard in Georgia. The pair drive around in the General Lee, a flashy Dodge Charger stock car. Other notable characters in the show were Daisy Duke (played by Catherine Bach) and Boss Hogg (played by Sorrell Booke).
57. Monopoly token replaced by a cat in 2013 : IRON
There are eight tokens included in the game of Monopoly as of 2013. These are the wheelbarrow, battleship, race car, thimble, boot, Scottie dog, top hat and cat. The latest to be introduced was the cat in 2013, replacing the iron. The battleship and the cannon (aka howitzer, now retired) had been added to the Monopoly game as part of a recycling exercise. The pieces were intended for the game “Conflict” released in 1940, but when Parker Bros. pulled “Conflict” off the market due to poor sales, they added their excess battleships and cannons to Monopoly.