Edited by: Rich Norris
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Each of today’s themed answer includes a sound made by a dog, but that same answer sounds like a common phrase:
- 21A. Hogwarts chronicler imitating noisy dogs? : JK GROWLING (sounds like “JK ROWLING”)
- 26A. Devices that record data on noisy dogs? : BARKING METERS (sounds like “parking meters”)
- 47A. Photographer of noisy dogs? : YIPPER SNAPPER (sounds like “whippersnapper”)
- 52A. Paintings depicting noisy dogs? : WORKS OF ARF (sounds like “works of art”)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
5. Thompson of “Westworld” : TESSA
Tessa Thompson is an actress from Los Angeles who is known for playing the supporting role of Jackie Cook on the TV show “Veronica Mars”, and for playing student leader Diane Nash in the 2014 film “Selma”.
“Westworld” is an HBO series that is based on a 1973 movie of the same name, which was written and directed by novelist Michael Crichton. Westworld is a high-tech theme park populated by androids that interact with the guests.
14. Stephen Hawking subject : TIME
Stephen Hawking is a theoretical physicist from Oxford, England. Hawking owes much of his fame in the world of popular science to his incredibly successful book called “A Brief History of Time”. “A Brief History of Time” has sold over 10 million copies and was on London’s “Sunday Times” bestseller list for over four years. Hawking does a wonderful job of explaining many aspects of cosmology without losing the average reader. There is only one equation in the whole book, and that equation is “E = mc2”. Hawking’s life story is recounted in the excellent 2014 film “The Theory of Everything”.
17. Princess Royal of Britain : ANNE
Anne, Princess Royal was born in 1950 and is the only daughter of British Queen Elizabeth II. Princess Anne has been in the public spotlight for many things, including her success as an equestrian. Princess Anne was the first member of the British Royal Family to have competed in an Olympic Games. Her daughter Zara Phillips continued the tradition and competed as a member of the British equestrian team in the 2012 Olympic Games. Zara’s medal was presented to her by her own mother, Princess Anne.
“Princess Royal” is the title given to the eldest daughter of a British monarch.
20. Setup provider’s abbr. : BYOB
Bring Your Own Beer/Bottle/Booze (BYOB)
21. Hogwarts chronicler imitating noisy dogs? : JK GROWLING (sounds like “JK ROWLING”)
Joanne Rowling changed her name to J. K. Rowling at the request of her publisher, who believed that young boys might have shied away from reading the first “Harry Potter” book if they believed the story was written by a woman (this was 1997!). “Jo” Rowling chose J for Joanne, and K for Kathleen after her grandmother (Jo has no middle name to use).
23. Like many deli orders : TO GO
The word “delicatessen” (or “deli” for short) came into English from the German “Delikatessen”. The Germans borrowed the word from French, in which language “délicatesse” means “delicious things (to eat)”. The term’s ultimate root is “delicatus”, the Latin for “giving pleasure, delightful”.
25. Western peer of Tex and Gene : ROY
Cowboy actor and singer Roy Rogers’ real name was Leonard Franklin Slye, and his nickname was “King of the Cowboys”. Roy Rogers married Dale Evans in 1947. Evans’ nickname was “Queen of the West”.
Tex Ritter was a country singer and actor from Murvaul, Texas. On the big screen, Ritter was known as a “singing cowboy”, and appeared in around 40 westerns in which he belted out a tune or two. Tex’s son was actor John Ritter, who played Jack Tripper so well in the sitcom “Three’s Company”.
Gene Autry was a so-called singing cowboy who had an incredibly successful career on radio, television and in films starting in the thirties. Autry’s signature song was “Back in the Saddle Again”, and his biggest hit was “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”. He also had a hit with his own Christmas song called “Here Comes Santa Claus”. There’s even a town in Oklahoma called Gene Autry, named in his honor. Famously, Autry owned the Los Angeles Angels baseball team for many years, from 1961 to 1997.
26. Devices that record data on noisy dogs? : BARKING METERS (sounds like “parking meters”)
An early patent for a parking meter, dated 1928, was for a device that required the driver of the parked car to connect the battery of his or her car to the meter in order for it to operate!
32. Part of XL: Abbr. : LGE
33. Toon cat since the silent era : FELIX
Felix the Cat is a cartoon character who dates back to the era of silent movies. A papier-mâché model of Felix was used in one of the first ever broadcasts of a television image, in 1928. At that time, RCA was using a Felix doll in experimental transmissions in New York.
37. War-torn land : IRAQ
Iraq is often called the “Cradle of Civilization” as it was home to Sumer, which was the earliest known civilization on the planet. By 5000 BC the Sumerian people were practicing year-round agriculture and had a specialized labor force. For the first time, a whole race were able to settle in one place by storing food, instead of having to migrate in a pattern dictated by crops and grazing land.
42. St. Anthony’s home : PADUA
The city of Padua is in northern Italy, and not far from Venice. Padua has many claims to fame. For example, Galileo was one of the lecturers at the University of Padua, and William Shakespeare chose the city as the setting for his play “The Taming of the Shrew”.
44. It’s not exactly a pick-me-up : DECAF
The first successful process for removing caffeine from coffee involved steaming the beans in salt water, and then extracting the caffeine using benzene (a potent carcinogen) as a solvent. Coffee processed this way was sold as Sanka here in the US. There are other processes used these days, and let’s hope they are safer …
50. Disney Store collectible : CEL
In the world of animation, a cel is a transparent sheet on which objects and characters are drawn. In the first half of the 20th century the sheet was actually made of celluloid, giving the “cel” its name.
51. Semi bar : AXLE
A “semi” is a “semi-trailer truck”. The vehicle is so called because it consists of a tractor and a half-trailer. The half-trailer is so called because it only has wheels on the back end, with the front supported by the tractor.
58. First name in folk : ARLO
Arlo Guthrie is the son of Woody Guthrie. Both father and son are renowned for their singing of protest songs about social injustice. Arlo is most famous for his epic “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”, a song that lasts a full 18m 34s. In the song Guthrie tells how, after being drafted, he was rejected for service in the Vietnam War based on his criminal record. He had only one incident on his public record, a Thanksgiving Day arrest for littering and being a public nuisance when he was 18-years-old.
64. News article intro : LEDE
The opening paragraph in any work of literature is often just called “the lead”. In the world of journalism, this is usually referred to as “the lede”.
69. Bellicose god : ARES
The Greek god Ares is often referred to as the Olympian god of warfare, but originally he was regarded as the god of bloodlust and slaughter. Ares united with Aphrodite to create several gods, including Phobos (Fear), Deimos (Terror) and Eros (Desire). Ares was the son of Zeus and Hera, and the Roman equivalent to Ares was Mars.
Someone described as bellicose is inclined to favor strife or war. The term comes from “bellum”, the Latin word for “war”.
2. Like a mite : TINY
Mites are tiny arthropods in the arachnid (spider) class. Mites are (annoyingly!) very successful creatures that have adapted to all sorts of habitats, and being so small, they generally pass unnoticed. Ick …
4. Adidas subsidiary : REEBOK
The brand name Reebok was adopted as the new company name for Foster Shoes of the UK in 1960. The name Reebok (more commonly “Rhebok”) is an Afrikaans word for an antelope, and comes from the term “roe buck”.
5. He beat out Sonny & Cher and Herman’s Hermits, among others, for the Best New Artist Grammy : TOM JONES
Tom Jones … now he has a real voice and is a great showman. I saw him in Las Vegas many, many moons ago, and it was one of the best Vegas shows I’ve ever attended. Although “Tom Jones” is a carefully selected stage name (he was born Thomas Woodward) the name isn’t too far from reality as Jones is his mother’s maiden name. The stage name was chosen by his manager to capitalize on the appeal of “Tom Jones”, a filmed version of the Henry Fielding novel that was having a successful run at the time. The name also emphasized Tom’s Welsh roots, as Jones is a very common name in Wales.
The famous duo Sonny & Cher started out in the mid-1960s as backing singer working with Phil Spector. The couple married in 1964, and the next year released their breakthrough numbers “Baby Don’t Go” and “I Got You Babe”. Sonny and Cher divorced in 1975, and dissolved their act that same year. Cher moved onto a successful solo career that continues to this day. Sonny Bono was elected as a US Congressman for California in 1995. Sadly, he didn’t finish his term in the House as he died from injuries sustained in a skiing accident in 1998.
Herman’s Hermits are a band from the north of England that formed in 1964 as “Herman & the Hermits. The band’s list of hits includes “I’m into Something Good” (1964), “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter” (1965), “I’m Henry VIII, I Am” (1965) and my personal favorite “There’s a Kind of Hush” (1967).
6. Christine’s phantom admirer : ERIK
In Gaston Leroux’s novel “The Phantom of the Opera”, the young Christine Daaé is obsessively admired by Erik, the “phantom” who lives below the Paris Opera House.
11. Nutritious berry : ACAI
Açaí is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.
13. Giant film primate : KONG
When RKO released the 1933 movie “King Kong”, the promotional material listed the ape’s height as 50 feet. During filming, a bust was created for a 40-foot ape, as well as a full-size hand that went with a 70-foot Kong.
24. Desktop animation image suffix : GIF
A bitmap is an image file format used to store digital images. Basically, each pixel in a bitmap file is stored as a “bit” of information, hence the name “bitmap”. In 1987, CompuServe introduced a new type of image file called the Graphics Interchange Format (GIF). A GIF image takes the same information as a bitmap and then compresses it, resulting in a smaller file size. However, during compression the image may lose some resolution. The GIF format also handles short video clips, usually animations.
26. Control tower signal : BLIP
Scientists have been using radio waves to detect the presence of objects since the late 1800s, but it was the demands of WWII that accelerated the practical application of the technology. The British called their system RDF standing for Range and Direction Finding. The system used by the US Navy was called Radio Detection And Ranging, which was shortened to the acronym RADAR.
27. Indian shrine site : AGRA
Agra is a medieval city on the banks of the river Yamuna in India. Agra was also the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1556 to 1658. The city is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites:
- The Taj Mahal: the famous mausoleum built in memory of Mumtaz Mahal.
- Agra Fort: the site where the famous Koh-i-Noor diamond was seized.
- Fatehpur Sikri: a historic city that’s home to well-preserved Mughal architecture.
30. CFOs, e.g. : EXECS
Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
31. Orient Express feature : SLEEPER CAR
The Orient Express was a celebrated luxury passenger train service that operated from 1883 until 2009. The cities served by the Orient Express varied over the decades, but most famously ran between Paris and Constantinople (Istanbul).
35. Shakespeare’s shrew : KATE
William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” is about a courting couple. The male in the couple is Petruchio, a gentleman of Verona, and the female is Katharina/Kate, the so-called “shrew”. As the play progresses, the “shrew” is “tamed” and becomes an “obedient” bride … a controversial storyline in the contemporary world, to say the least. Regardless, modern adaptations have been made, including 1948’s Broadway musical “Kiss Me Kate” and the 1999 romantic comedy “10 Things I Hate About You”.
36. Vega, for one : STAR
Vega is the brightest star in the constellation Lyra. Vega (along with Altair and Deneb from other constellations) is also part of the group of three stars that is called the Summer Triangle. Vega is the star at the right-angle of this triangle.
43. Homo sapiens relatives : APES
The hominids are the great apes, and belong to the family of primates called Hominidae. Extant genera that make up the family Hominidae are:
The literal translation of “Homo sapiens” from Latin is “wise or knowing man”. The Homo genus includes the species Homo sapiens (modern humans), but we’re the only species left in that genus. The last known species related to humans was Homo neanderthalensis (Neanderthal Man) which died off about 24,000 years ago. However, another species was discovered in Indonesia in 2003 that has been dubbed Homo floresiensis (Flores Man … sometimes called “hobbit”), and it may possibly have lived as recently as 12,000 years ago. Watch this space …
48. Small wading bird : PLOVER
Plovers are small wading birds with relatively short bills. Many of the 60-70 species of plovers are referred to as dotterels.
49. State of matter : PLASMA
When I was a schoolkid, I was taught that there were three fundamental states of matter: solid, liquid and gas. I think it is now generally accepted that there is a fourth fundamental state matter, namely plasma. Plasma is a state without a definite shape or volume, and in that sense is similar to a gas. In a plasma, electrons have been ripped away from their nuclei, forming a conductive electron “sea”. Plasmas are created from gases by applying a massive voltage difference or an extremely high temperature.
55. Gift from Prometheus : FIRE
In Greek mythology, Prometheus was one of the Titans. He was said to have created man from clay as well as giving fire to humanity, hence allowing the human race to prosper.
57. Play polo, say : RIDE
The sport of polo originated in Iran, possibly before the 5th century BC. Polo was used back them primarily as a training exercise for cavalry units.