Edited by: Rich Norris
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Each of today’s themed answers has the same clue. And, that clue is provided by the reveal answer “TIME FOR DINNER”:
- 34A. Clue for 20-, 23-, 48- and 52-Across : TIME FOR DINNER
- 20A. See 34-Across : COME AND GET IT
- 23A. See 34-Across : SOUPS ON
- 48A. See 34-Across : LET’S EAT
- 52A. See 34-Across : SUPPER’S READY
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
5. 2012 World Series MVP Sandoval : PABLO
Pablo Sandoval is a Major League third baseman from Venezuela. Sandoval has the cute and cuddly nickname “Kung Fu Panda”, a nickname given to him by teammate Barry Zito when they played together for the San Francisco Giants.
10. FiveThirtyEight fodder : DATA
Nate Silver is a statistician who first gained notoriety by developing a forecasting system that predicted the future performance of baseball players. He then made a name for himself in the world of politics by predicting the outcome of the 2008 US presidential race on his website FiveThirtyEight.com. Silver successfully predicted the outcome of the election in 49 of the 50 states, missing out on Indiana, which Barack Obama won by less than 1% of the vote. FiveThirtyEight was less successful in predicting the specifics of the 2012 presidential election, but came closer than almost all other pollsters. In 2016, FiveThirtyEight predicted a victory for Hillary Clinton, but with a much lower probability than other poll aggregators. And, they all got it wrong. Oh, and why the name FiveThirtyEight.com? Because there are 538 electors in the US electoral college.
14. Ristorante bottle : VINO
In Italian, one might order a glass of “vino” (wine) in a “ristorante” (restaurant).
16. Spring flower : IRIS
Iris is a genus of flowering plants that come in a wide variety of flower colors. The term “iris” is a Greek word meaning “rainbow”. Many species of irises are called “flags”. One suggestion is that the alternate name comes from the Middle English “flagge” meaning “reed”. This term was used because irises leaves look like reeds.
17. Disney CEO since 2005 : IGER
Robert Iger took over from Michael Eisner as CEO in 2005. Iger worked for ABC when it was taken over by Disney in 1996, and in 1999 he was named president of Walt Disney International. Iger is doing okay for himself; he earned more than $29 million in 2009.
18. Small, silvery Chesapeake Bay swimmer : WHITE PERCH
The fish known as a white perch is a perch at all, but rather is a member of the temperate bass family.
Chesapeake Bay is on the Atlantic coast and is surrounded by the states of Maryland and Virginia. Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the whole country, with over 150 rivers and streams draining into it, including the Potomac.
27. National Lampoon writer, typically : SATIRIST
“National Lampoon” was a humor magazine first published in 1970. “National Lampoon” was founded as a spin-off to Harvard University’s undergraduate magazine “Harvard Lampoon”. The latter is still going strong, but “National Lampoon” ceased publication in 1998.
31. Old West gunslinger Jack : SLADE
Jack Slade was a Pony Express superintendent originally from Illinois who developed a reputation as a Wild West gunfighter. Apparently, that reputation was greatly exaggerated. Of the 26 killings attributed to Slade, only the first one is undisputed. He was also fond of the booze, and was fired from his job because of his drinking problem. In 1864, Spade was hanged by a bunch of vigilantes in Virginia City, Montana for disturbing the peace during a drunken spree.
41. Casino game : FARO
Faro is a card game somewhat akin to Baccarat that was popular in England and France in the 18th century. Faro made it to the Old West, where it became a favorite of Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp. The origin of the name “Faro” is unclear. One popular theory is that Faro is a contraction of ‘pharaoh’ given that Egyptian motifs used to be common on playing cards of the period. There’s another theory involving the usual suspects: Irish immigrants and famines …
42. __ acids: protein components : AMINO
Amino acids are essential to life in many ways, not least of which is their use as the building blocks of proteins.
44. Fireproofing construction mineral banned in many countries : ASBESTOS
Asbestos was very, very popular in so many applications for many years. The world’s largest asbestos mine was in Quebec, Canada in the town of … Asbestos.
59. Nonstick cookware brand : T-FAL
Tefal (also “T-Fal”) is a French manufacturer of cookware, famous for its nonstick line. The name “Tefal” is a portmanteau, of TEFlon and ALuminum, the key materials used in producing their pots and pans.
64. Owner of Regency hotels : HYATT
The Hyatt hotel chain takes its name from the first hotel in the group, i.e. Hyatt House at Los Angeles International Airport that was purchased in 1957. Among other things, Hyatt is famous for designing the world’s first atrium hotel, the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta.
3. Iron deficiency concern : ANEMIA
The term “anemia” (or “anaemia” as we write it back in Ireland) comes from a Greek word meaning “lack of blood”. Anemia is a lack of iron in the blood, or a low red blood cell count. Tiredness is a symptom of the condition, and so we use the term “anemic” figuratively to mean “lacking in vitality or substance”.
5. Chess piece that may be promoted : PAWN
In the game of chess, the pawns are the weakest pieces on the board. A pawn that can make it to the opposite of the board can be promoted to a piece of choice, usually a queen. Using promotion of pawns, it is possible for a player to have two or more queens on the board at one time. However, standard chess sets come with only one queen per side, so a captured rook is often used as the second queen by placing it on the board upside down.
6. Condition treated by Ritalin, briefly : ADHD
The “official” name for the condition we sometimes still refer to as “attention deficit disorder” (ADD) is “attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder” (ADHD).
Ritalin is a trade name for the drug methylphenidate that is used for treatment of ADHD and narcolepsy. Methylphenidate has a similar structure and similar properties to the drug cocaine, although it is less potent.
7. Sailor’s jail : BRIG
A brig, short for brigantine, is a two-masted sailing vessel. It was the use of brigantines as prison ships that led to use of “brig” as the word for a jail or prison cell on a seagoing vessel.
10. Jenny Craig offering : DIET PLAN
The weight control company called Jenny Craig was started in 1983 by Jenny and Sidney Craig in Melbourne, Australia. Jenny Craig came to North American two years later, and is headquartered in Carlsbad, California.
11. LAX incoming flight : ARR
13. Volcanic output : ASH
Our word “volcano” comes from “Vulcano”, the name of a volcanic island off the coast of Italy. The island’s name comes from Vulcan, the Roman god of fire. The Romans believed that the island of Vulcano was the chimney of the forge belonging to the god Vulcan. The Romans also believed that the eruptions on Mount Etna in Sicily were caused by Vulcan getting angry and working his forge so hard that sparks and smoke flew out of the top of the volcano.
19. __ XIII: Title role in “The Young Pope” : PIUS
“The Young Pope” is an English-language drama produced in Italy that has a cast headed by Jude Law and Diane Keaton. Law plays newly elected Pope Pius XIII, and former Archbishop of New York. Keaton plays an American nun who serves as the pope’s personal secretary.
21. Pulitzer winner Walker : ALICE
Alice Walker is an author and poet. Walker’s best known work is the novel “The Color Purple”, which earned her the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. “The Color Purple” was adapted into a very successful film of the same name, directed by Steven Spielberg.
28. Two-legged zebra : REF
A football referee is sometimes called a “zebra”, a reference to the striped shirt that is part of a referee’s uniform.
30. Feudal workers : SERFS
A serf was a member of the lowest feudal class, someone attached to land owned by a lord. “Serf” comes from the Latin “servus”, meaning “slave”.
36. Haberdashery : MEN’S SHOP
Back in the 14th century, a haberdasher was a dealer in small wares. By the late 1800s, the term had evolved to mean a purveyor of menswear, and in particular was associated with the sale of hats.
38. Cork’s home: Abbr. : IRE
Cork is the second largest city in the Republic of Ireland. Cork has been a major port for many years, and was the last port of call for many, many Irish emigrants to America. When these Irish people reached the US it was common for them to give their point of origin as “Cork”, whereas they may have come from almost anywhere in Ireland. It’s because of this that many descendants of Irish immigrants who had been told they were from a Cork family often find out they were under a misapprehension as their ancestors just sailed from Cork.
40. Kilmer of “Tombstone” : VAL
Val Kilmer’s first big leading role in a movie was playing Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone’s 1991 biopic “The Doors”. A few years later, Kilmer was chosen for the lead in another big production, “Batman Forever”. Things haven’t really gone as well for Kilmer since then, I’d say. Off the screen, he flirted with the idea of running for Governor of New Mexico in 2010. A Hollywood actor as a Governor? Would never happen …
“Tombstone” is a 1993 Western movie that has a storyline centered on the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral and its aftermath. The cast includes Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday, and Kurt Russell as Wyatt Earp. “Tombstone” was released six months before the ostensibly competing movie “Wyatt Earp” starring Kevin Costner. If there was a competition between the two films, then “Tombstone” won, both in terms of ticket sales and critical response.
43. Ingredient in une omelette : OEUF
In French, an “oeuf” (egg) is the main ingredient in “une omelette” (an omelet).
45. Scary African fly : TSETSE
Tsetse flies live on the blood of vertebrate mammals. The name “tsetse” comes from Tswana, a language of southern Africa, and translates simply as “fly”. Tsetse flies are famous for being carriers of the disease known as “sleeping sickness”. Sleeping sickness is caused by a parasite which is passed onto humans when the tsetse fly bites into human skin tissue. If one considers all the diseases transmitted by the insect, then the tsetse fly is responsible for a staggering quarter of a million deaths each year.
46. 1380s Norwegian king : OLAF IV
Olaf II was King of Denmark, as well as King of Norway (as Olaf IV). He took over the throne of Denmark in 1376 at the age of 5 years, after his grandfather died. Olaf became King of Norway in 1380 when his father passed away.
51. “House of Payne” creator __ Perry : TYLER
Tyler Perry is an actor, comedian and writer who is perhaps best known in front of the camera for his drag performances as tough elderly woman “Madea”. Perry also created the sitcom “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” that ran for eight seasons from 2006 until 2012.
53. Frequent collaborator with Louis and Duke : ELLA
Ella Fitzgerald, the “First Lady of Song”, had a hard and tough upbringing. She was raised by her mother alone in Yonkers, New York. Her mother died while Ella was still a schoolgirl, and around that time the young girl became less interested in her education. She fell in with a bad crowd, even working as a lookout for a bordello and as a Mafia numbers runner. She ended up in reform school, from which she escaped, and found herself homeless and living on the streets for a while. Somehow Fitzgerald managed to get herself a spot singing in the Apollo Theater in Harlem. From there her career took off and as they say, the rest is history.
Louis Armstrong was born in New Orleans in 1900. Armstrong had a poor upbringing, and only stayed in school till he was 11 years old. The exact origin of Louis’s nickname “Satchmo” seems to be a little unclear. One story is that he used to dance for pennies in New Orleans as a youngster and would hide those pennies in his mouth away from the other kids. For this he earned the nickname “satchel mouth”, which was shortened to “Satchmo”.
Duke Ellington was a bandleader and composer believed by many to have elevated jazz to the same level as other respected genres of music. Ellington tended not to use the word “jazz” to describe his compositions, preferring the term “American Music”.
55. Doc’s “Right away” : STAT
The exact etymology of “stat”, a term meaning “immediately” in the medical profession, seems to have been lost in the mists of time. It probably comes from the Latin “statim” meaning “to a standstill, immediately”. A blog reader has helpfully suggested that the term may also come from the world of laboratory analysis, where the acronym STAT stands for “short turn-around time”.
58. “Thar __ blows!” : SHE
“Thar she blows!” is a phrase that originated on whaling ships. A lookout spotting a whale surfacing to breathe might see the spray from the blowhole caused by the expulsion of carbon dioxide. Thar (there) she blows!