Edited by: Rich Norris
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Each of today’s themed answers includes the letters string OATS, although the string has “WILD”. The letters in the word OATS have been rearranged:
- 64A. What young people may sow … and what’s literally hidden in the answers to starred clues : WILD OATS
- 17A. *What may put a fire in the belly? : HOT SAUCE
- 24A. *Commuter entertainment source : RADIO STATION
- 38A. *Slick trick : FAST ONE
- 52A. *Pre-release programs : BETA SOFTWARE
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Part of BYOB and MYOB : OWN
Bring Your Own Beer/Bottle/Booze (BYOB)
Mind your own business (MYOB)
4. Band name with a lightning bolt slash : AC/DC
The Heavy Metal band known as AC/DC was formed by two brothers Malcolm and Angus Young in Australia. The group is usually called “Acca Dacca” down under.
14. T’ai __ : CHI
More correctly called t‘ai chi ch‘uan, tai chi is a martial art that is mostly practiced to improve overall health and increase longevity.
15. Afrikaans speaker : BOER
“Boer” is the Dutch and Afrikaans word for “farmer”, a word that was used to describe the Dutch-speaking people who settled parts of South Africa during the 1700s.
Afrikaans is a language spoken mainly in South Africa that was introduced there by Dutch settlers in the 18th century. The original settlers were mainly from South Holland, so Afrikaans evolved from the Dutch vernacular that they spoke.
16. 9Lives mascot : MORRIS
Morris the Cat has appeared in movies and advertisements since 1968. Morris is currently the mascot for 9Lives cat food.
20. Window part : SASH
A movable (up and down) window frame is called a sash, from the French word for a frame “châssis”. The term is also applied to that part of a door or window into which windows are set.
21. Mother of Pollux : LEDA
In Greek mythology, Leda was the beautiful Queen of Sparta who was seduced by Zeus when he took the form of a swan. Leda produced two eggs from the union. One egg hatched into Clytemnestra and the beautiful Helen of Troy, over whom was fought the Trojan War. The other egg hatched into the twins Castor and Pollux. Castor and Pollux had different fathers according to the myth. Pollux was the son of Zeus and was immortal, while Castor was the son of Leda’s earthly husband, and so he was a mortal. In the world of the arts, William Butler Yeats wrote a famous sonnet called “Leda and the Swan” in 1924, and Peter Paul Rubens made a copy of a now-lost painting called “Leda and the Swan” by Michelangelo.
23. She plays Crawford in FX’s “Feud” : LANGE
The actress Jessica Lange is also an accomplished and published photographer. She was married for ten years to Spanish photographer Paco Grande. After separating from Grande, Lange was partnered with the great Russian dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov, with whom she had her first child.
“Feud” is a TV series that dramatizes actual events in celebrity feuds. The first season debuted in 2017 and explored the rivalry of Hollywood superstars Bette Davis and Joan Crawford (portrayed by Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange). A second season takes on the relationship between Charles and Diana, the Princess and Princess of Wales.
32. Miracle-__ : GRO
Scotts Miracle-Gro Company was founded in 1868 by one Orlando Scott, initially selling seed to the agricultural industry. In the early 1900s, Scotts started to sell to homeowners, mainly supplying lawn seed. The company merged with the gardening company Miracle-Gro in 1955.
43. Lets hit them : NETS
As in tennis, for example.
45. Pi follower : RHO
Rho is the Greek letter that looks just like our Roman letter “p”, although it is equivalent to the Roman letter R.
48. In-land link? : LA-LA
“La-la land” is a euphemism for a state of unconsciousness.
50. Leopardlike cats : OCELOTS
The ocelot is found mainly in South and Central America, although there have been sightings as far north as Arkansas. An ocelot doesn’t look too different from a domestic cat, and some have been kept as pets. Perhaps most famously, Salvador Dali had one that he carried around everywhere with him.
52. *Pre-release programs : BETA SOFTWARE
In the world of software development, the first tested issue of a new program is usually called the “alpha” version. Expected to have a lot of bugs that need to be fixed, the alpha release is usually distributed to a small number of testers. After reported bugs have been eliminated, the refined version is called a “beta” and is released to a wider audience, but with the program clearly labeled as “beta”. The users generally check functionality and report further bugs that are encountered. The beta version feeds into a release candidate, the version that is tested just prior to the software being sold into the market, hopefully bug-free.
58. Staff symbol : REST
The sets of five horizontal lines and four spaces that are used in musical notation are known as staves. The singular of “staves” is “staff” in American English, but “stave” in British English.
64. What young people may sow … and what’s literally hidden in the answers to starred clues : WILD OATS
Traditionally, wild oats was a crop that one would regret sowing instead of “good grain”. Young and tempestuous people were rash enough to sow their wild oats, and had yet to comprehend their folly. Over time, to “feel one’s oats” came to mean “be lively and confident”.
66. Like most Chaplin films : SILENT
Charlie Chaplin earned the nickname “The Tramp” (also “Little Tramp”) from the much-loved character that he frequently played on the screen. Chaplin was much-respected as a performer. The great George Bernard Shaw referred to him as “the only genius to come out of the movie industry”.
70. Drag racing gp. : NHRA
The sport of drag racing is administered by the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA).
Back in the 18th century “drag” was slang for a wagon or buggy, as it was “dragged” along by a horse or horses. In the 1930s, the underworld adopted “drag” as slang for an automobile. This sense of the word was imported into automobile racing in the forties, giving the name to “drag racing”. A drag race is basically a competition between two cars to determine which can accelerate faster from a standstill.
1. “Draft Dodger Rag” folk singer : OCHS
Phil Ochs was an American protest singer who was active in the days of the Vietnam War. Sadly, the singer’s mental health declined at the very time the war was winding down. Saigon fell in 1975, and Ochs committed suicide in 1976.
4. “Defending Liberty, Pursuing Justice” org. : ABA
The American Bar Association (ABA) was founded back in 1878 and is a voluntary association for lawyers and law students. The ABA focuses on setting academic standards for law schools and setting ethical codes for the profession.
8. “The Walking Dead” channel : AMC
“The Walking Dead” is a horror television show that is made by AMC that is based on a comic book series of the same name. There are lots of flesh-eating zombies featured, so I won’t be caught “dead” watching it …
11. Like two-time Oscar-winning director Asghar Farhadi : IRANI
Asghar Farhadi is an Iranian movie director and screenwriter. Farhadi won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film on two occasions: for his movies “A Separation” (2012), and “The Salesman (2017).
12. Late summer sign : VIRGO
The astrological sign of Virgo is associated with the constellation of the same name. The Virgo constellation is related to maidens (virgins), purity and fertility.
13. Steel city near Cologne : ESSEN
Essen is a large industrial city located on the River Ruhr in western Germany.
Cologne is the fourth largest city in Germany, and is known as “Koln” in German.
22. Orbit City pooch : ASTRO
“The Jetsons” is an animated show from Hanna-Barbera that had its first run in 1962-1963, and then was recreated in 1985-1987. When it was debuted in 1963 by ABC, “The Jetsons” was the network’s first ever color broadcast. “The Jetsons” are like a space-age version of “The Flintstones”. The four Jetson family members are George and Jane, the parents, and children Judy and Elroy. Residing with the family are Rosie the household robot, and Astro the pet dog.
26. One in a cel block : TOON
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.
27. FBI guy : G-MAN
The nickname “G-men” is short for “government men” and refers to agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
32. ’60s-’70s Pontiac : GTO
The Pontiac GTO was produced by GM from 1964 to 1974, and again by a GM subsidiary in Australia from 2004 to 2006. The original GTO’s design is credited to Pontiac chief engineer at the time John DeLorean, who later was found the DeLorean Motor Company.
34. City that hosts an annual Norwegian Wood music festival : OSLO
The Norwegian Wood music festival has been held annually since 1992 in Oslo, the capital of Norway. The festival is named for the Beatles song “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)”.
“Norwegian Wood” is a Beatles song from 1965. It is a somewhat groundbreaking number in that George Harrison is playing a sitar, marking the first time the sitar was used by a rock band on a record. And, if you like to waltz around the dance floor, this is one of the few Beatles records that is in triple time.
36. Elephant flappers : EARS
There are only three species of elephant living today, with all others being extinct. These are the African bush elephant, the African forest elephant, and the Asian elephant (or “Indian elephant”). As is well known, the African elephant is distinguished from the Asian/Indian elephant by its much larger ears.
39. Singer Guthrie : ARLO
Singer Arlo Guthrie is known for his protest songs, just like his father Woody Guthrie. The younger Guthrie only ever had one song in the top 40: a cover version of “City of New Orleans”. He has lived for years in the town of Washington, just outside Pittsfield, Massachusetts. His 1976 song “Massachusetts” has been the official folk song of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts since 1981.
47. Olds compact : ALERO
The Oldsmobile Alero was the last car made under the Oldsmobile brand. The Alero was produced from 1999 to 2004.
52. Light wood : BALSA
Balsa is a very fast growing tree that is native to parts of South America. Even though balsa wood is very soft, it is actually classified as a hardwood, the softest of all the hardwoods (go figure!). Balsa is light and strong, so is commonly used in making model airplanes. Amazingly, in WWII a full-size British plane, the de Havilland Mosquito, was built largely from balsa and plywood. No wonder they called it “The Wooden Wonder” and “The Timber Terror”.
53. It’s often distributed in cc’s : EMAIL
I wonder do the kids of today know that “cc” stands for carbon copy, and do they have any idea what a carbon copy was? Do you remember how messy carbon paper was to handle?
61. Nicholas II was the last one : TSAR
The last ruler of Imperial Russia was Tsar Nicholas II (of the House of Romanov). Famously, the Tsar and his family were murdered in 1918 in the basement of a house in Yekaterinburg, Russia by members of the Bolshevik secret police. The Tsar’s youngest daughter was 16-year-old Anastasia and rumors of her escape have persisted for years. The rumors grew with the help of numerous women who claimed to be Anastasia. In 2009, DNA testing finally proved that the remains of all of the Tsar’s immediate family, including Anastasia, have been found and identified.
63. Some NFL blockers : RTS
In American football, linemen specialize in playing in the line of scrimmage. RT stands for Right Tackle. That’s about all I know, and even that I am unsure about …
65. Raiders’ org.? : DEA
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)