Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers each contained the circled letters GONE. That word “GONE” is stretched out in the answer, as “LONG GONE”.
- 58A. Extinct since way back when … and, in a way, what each set of circles represents : LONG GONE
- 17A. Source of valuable metal : GOLD MINE
- 25A. Early record player : GRAMOPHONE
- 37A. Beatles song used as wake-up music on the last Space Shuttle mission : GOOD DAY SUNSHINE
- 45A. Revolving blade sharpener : GRINDSTONE
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
4. Digital readouts, for short : LCDS
Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) are the screens that are found in most laptops today, and in flat panel computer screens and some televisions. LCD monitors basically replaced Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) screens, the old television technology.
14. 401(k) kin: Abbr. : IRA
A 401(k) account is similar to an IRA in that contributions can be made from a paycheck prior to the deduction of income taxes. A 401(k) differs from an IRA in that it is an employer-sponsored plan, with payments taken by the employer directly from an employee’s paycheck. Additionally, contributions can be fully or partially matched by an employer.
20. Isaac’s eldest : ESAU
Esau was the twin brother of Jacob, the founder of the Israelites. When their mother Rebekah gave birth to the twins “the first emerged red and hairy all over (Esau), with his heel grasped by the hand of the second to come out (Jacob)”. As Esau was the first born, he was entitled to inherit his father’s wealth (it was his “birthright”). Instead, Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for the price of a “mess of pottage” (a meal of lentils).
21. Golden State wine region : NAPA
The first commercial winery in Napa Valley, California was established way back in 1858. However, premium wine production only dates back to the 1960s, with the region really hitting the big time after its success at the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976. The story of that famous blind wine tasting is told in the entertaining 2008 film “Bottle Shock”.
“Golden State” has been the official nickname of California since 1968. The nickname reflects the expansion of the state’s economy that followed the discovery of gold in 1848, and also the fields of golden poppies seen growing wild across California in the spring.
23. One World Trade Center topper : SPIRE
One World Trade Center (One WTC) is the legal name for the tallest building in the US that is known colloquially as “Freedom Tower”. The building stands at the symbolic height of 1776 feet.
25. Early record player : GRAMOPHONE
Famously, Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877, which recorded sound onto wax phonograph cylinders. The flat disc phonograph record was developed by Emile Berliner, a German-born American inventor. Berliner called his flat disc record player a “gramophone”, and started selling Berliner Gramophone records in 1894.
30. Fibber or Molly of old radio : MCGEE
“Fibber McGee and Molly” was one of the longest-running comedies on radio, originally airing from 1935 to 1959. Fibber McGee and Molly were a married couple, as were the actors who played them: Jim Jordan and Marian Driscoll. The show was set in the Illinois city of Peoria, and that’s where Jordan and Driscoll were born and where they lived in real life.
37. Beatles song used as wake-up music on the last Space Shuttle mission : GOOD DAY SUNSHINE
“Good Day Sunshine” is a Beatles song from the 1966 “Revolver” album. As for all Beatles numbers, writing credits for “Good Day Sunshine” go to Lennon-McCartney, but McCartney actually composed the song, and indeed provides lead vocals, as well as the piano and bass guitar tracks.
40. Mariner’s “Help!” : SOS
The combination of three dots – three dashes – three dots, is a Morse signal first introduced by the German government as a standard distress call in 1905. The sequence is remembered as the letters SOS (three dots – pause – three dashes – pause – three dots), although in the emergency signal there is no pause between the dots and dashes, so SOS is in effect only a mnemonic. Similarly, the phrases “Save Our Souls” and “Save Our Ship” are also mnemonics, introduced after the “SOS” signal was adopted.
44. Former trans-Atl. fliers : SSTS
The most famous supersonic transport (SST) is the retired Concorde. Concorde was developed and produced under an Anglo-French treaty by France’s Aérospatiale and the UK’s British Aircraft Corporation (BAC). Concordes were mainly operated by Air France and British Airways, with both companies buying the planes with substantial subsidies from the French and British governments. The final Concorde flight was a British Airways plane that landed in the UK on 26 November 2003.
55. About 66.5 degrees, for the Arctic Circle : N LAT
Lines of latitude are the imaginary horizontal lines surrounding the planet. The most “important” lines of latitude are, from north to south:
- Arctic Circle
- Tropic of Cancer
- Tropic of Capricorn
- Antarctic Circle
56. Musician Keys : ALICIA
“Alicia Keys” is the stage name of Alicia Cook, an R&B and soul singer from Hell’s Kitchen in New York City.
60. Poland Spring competitor : DASANI
Dasani is a Coca-Cola brand of bottled water. Dasani is simply filtered tap water with some trace minerals added.
61. Words to Brutus : ET TU
It was Shakespeare who popularized the words “Et tu, Brute?” (And you, Brutus?). They appear in his play “Julius Caesar”, although the phrase had been around long before he penned his drama. It’s not known what Julius Caesar actually said in real life (if anything at all) as he was assassinated on on the steps of the Senate in Rome.
62. Dist. you can see : VIS
63. The “S” in GPS : SYSTEM
The modern Global Positioning System (GPS) system that we use today was built by the US military who received the massive funding needed because of fears during the Cold War of the use of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. We civilians, all round the world, owe a lot to President Ronald Reagan because he directed the military to make GPS technology available to the public for the common good. President Reagan was moved to do so after the Soviet Union shot down KAL flight 007 carrying 269 people, just because the plane strayed accidentally into Soviet airspace.
64. Pest-control brand : D-CON
d-Con is a line of rodent control products that has been around for over 50 years.
65. Md. summer hrs. : EDT
Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)
1. Striped big cat : TIGER
Tigers are the largest of all the cat species. They are referred to as “apex predators” (as are lions and humans, for example), meaning that tigers are at the top of the food chain and aren’t the prey of any other animal.
3. Islands visited by Darwin : GALAPAGOS
The Galápagos Islands lie over 500 miles west of Ecuador. The Galápagos owe their celebrity to the voyage of HMS Beagle which landed there in 1835, with Charles Darwin on board. It was Darwin’s study of various species on the islands that inspired him to postulate his Theory of Evolution.
4. On the __: at large : LAM
To be on the lam is to be in flight, to have escaped from prison. “On the lam” is American slang that originated at the end of the 19th century. The word “lam” also means to “beat” or “thrash”, as in “lambaste”. So “on the lam” might derive from the phrase “to beat it, to scram”.
5. Like Saran wrap : CLINGY
What’s known as plastic wrap in America, we call cling-film in Ireland. The brand name “Saran” is often used generically in the US, while Glad wrap is common down under. Plastic wrap was one of those unintended inventions, a byproduct of a development program to create a hard plastic cover for cars.
6. Bahraini money : DINAR
The dinar is the official currency in many countries, such as Iraq and Serbia. The gold dinar dates back to the early days of Islam, with the name deriving from the Roman currency called “denarius” meaning “ten times” (as it was originally a coin worth ten asses).
The largest country in the Middle East is Saudi Arabia, which covers over 750,000 square miles. The smallest country is Bahrain, which covers less than 700 square miles.
10. Brown played by Candice Bergen : MURPHY
“Murphy Brown” is a very successful sitcom that premiered in 1988 and ran for almost ten full years. The title character is an investigative journalist and television news anchor played by Candice Bergen. In the show’s 1991-92 season, Brown becomes pregnant and decides to have the child and raise it alone, as the father is unwilling to be a parent. Vice President Dan Quayle hit the headlines in 1992 when he criticized the Brown character for “mocking the importance of fathers by bearing a child alone” in a campaign speech. The show’s writers embraced the ensuing public discussion on family values, and used actual footage from the speech to depict Vice President Quayle as passing judgment on the Murphy Brown character in the storyline. To this day, that speech is referred to as the “Murphy Brown speech”.
The actress and former model Candice Bergen is the daughter of ventriloquist Edgar Bergen (of Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd fame). The first Candice Bergman film I remember seeing is 1970’s “Soldier Blue”, which was very big on the other side of the Atlantic, and not so much here in North America. She also played the title role in the sitcom “Murphy Brown” for ten years in the eighties and nineties.
11. “Blame It __”: 1984 film set in Brazil : ON RIO
“Blame It on Rio” is an oft-panned romcom released in 1984 starring Michael Caine, Valerie Harper and a young Demi Moore. What’s remarkable to me is that “Blame It on Rio” was directed by the great Stanley Donen, who also directed classics such as “Singin’ in the Rain”, “On the Town”, “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” and “Charade”.
13. Little pigs number : THREE
The “The Three Little Pigs” fairy tale has been around for centuries, although it first appeared in print in the 1840s. One little pig built a house using straw and another built one using wood. The cleverest little pig built its house using bricks.
18. Looked for prints : DUSTED
In the world of criminology, there are three classes of fingerprints:
- Patent prints are those which are obvious, easily spotted by the naked eye.
- Impressed prints are those made when the fingertips apply pressure to a soft material or surface, such as the skin.
- Latent prints are those that are invisible to the naked eye, but which can be detected using special equipment and materials.
26. Actress Lena : OLIN
Lena Olin is a Swedish actress, and clearly someone who had acting in her blood. Her mother was the actress Britta Holmberg and her father the actor and director Stig Olin. Olin had a very successful career in Sweden, often working with the great Ingmar Bergman. Olin’s breakthrough international and English-speaking role was playing opposite Daniel Day-Lewis in “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” released in 1988. Way back in 1974, the lovely Miss Olin was crowned Miss Scandinavia in a beauty pageant for Nordic women held in Helsinki, Finland.
28. 1967 Neil Diamond song title line preceding “Go to my head” : RED RED WINE
The song “Red Red Wine” was written and originally recorded by Neil Diamond, in 1967. The lyrics refer to someone drowning his sorrows in red wine. The most famous cover version of the song was recorded by UB40 in 1982. It’s an interesting exercise to compare the mood of the two very different recordings, both of which I think have their merits …
30. British sports cars : MGS
My neighbor used to keep his MG Midget roadster in my garage (away from his kids!) back in Ireland many moons ago. The Midget was produced by the MG division of the British Motor Corporation from 1961 to 1979, with the MG initialism standing for “Morris Garages”.
33. Sch. with a Phoenix campus : ASU
Arizona State University (ASU) has a long history, and was founded as the Tempe Normal School for the Arizona Territory in 1885. The athletic teams of ASU used to be known as the Normals, then the Bulldogs, and since 1946 they’ve been called the Sun Devils.
36. Kisses, in romantic letters : XES
In the sequence XOX, the X represents a kiss, and the O a hug. OOO is a string of hugs, and XXX a string of kisses. Hugs and kisses …
38. Hoity-toity manners : AIRS
Believe it or not, the term “hoity-toity” has been in the English language since the 1660s, but back then it meant “riotous behavior”. It began to mean “haughty” in the late 1800s, simply because the “haughty” sounds similar to “hoity”.
43. Polar expedition vehicle : SNO-CAT
The brand name Sno-Cat is owned by the Tucker company. All snowcats are tracked vehicles built to work in snow, and are famously used in expeditions to the polar regions. The modern Sno-Cat from Tucker differs from its competitors in that it has four independently-mounted tracks.
45. Mortarboard tossers : GRADS
Mortarboards, or square academic caps, are associated with school graduations all over the world, although traditions do differ. For example in Ireland (where I come from), mortarboards are only worn by female graduates.
49. Campus midshipmen’s prog. : NROTC
Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC)
51. Dog or coyote : CANID
A canid is a carnivorous mammal of the family Canidae, which includes foxes, wolves, dogs, jackals and coyotes.
52. Nuclear trial, briefly : H-TEST
There are two classes of nuclear weapons, both of which get the energy for the explosion from nuclear reactions. The first nuclear bombs developed, called atomic bombs (A-bombs), use fission reactions. Uranium nuclei are split into smaller nuclei with the release of an awful lot of energy in the process. The second class of nuclear weapons are fusion bombs. These devices are called thermonuclear weapons or hydrogen bombs (H-bombs). In a fusion reaction, the nuclei of hydrogen isotopes are fused together to form bigger nuclei, with the release of even greater amounts of energy.