Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers are common, two-word phrases, but with the letters SC added to the front of the second word:
- 17A. What rattlers that never bask in the sun may get? : PALE SCALES (from “pale ales”)
- 27A. Strikebreakers at a brewery? : SIX-PACK SCABS (from “six-pack abs”)
- 45A. What berets cover? : FRENCH SCALPS (from “French Alps”)
- 60A. Angry looks in the hayloft? : BARN SCOWLS (from “barn owls”)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Hindu noble : RAJA
“Raja” (also “rajah”) is word derived from Sanskrit that is used particularly in India for a monarch or princely ruler. The female form is “rani” (also “ranee”) and is used for a raja’s wife.
5. Like pastrami : CURED
In the US, pastrami was originally called “pastrama”, a dish brought to America by Jewish immigrants from Romania in the second half of the the nineteenth century. The original name may have evolved from the Turkish word “pastirma” meaning “pressed”. “Pastrama” likely morphed into “pastrami” influenced by the name of the Italian sausage called salami.
10. Rum cake : BABA
Rum baba (also “baba au rhum” in French) is a small yeast cake saturated in rum, and sometimes filled with whipped cream. Rum baba is derived from the recipe for the tall “babka” yeast cake that was introduced to the world by the Polish communities. The Polish words “baba” and “babka” mean “old woman” or “grandmother” in English. I guess someone must have thought that all grandmothers were saturated in rum!
14. “O no! it is an __-fixed mark … “: Shak. : EVER
Here is the full text of William Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 116”:
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand’ring bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me prov’d,
I never writ, nor no man ever lov’d.
15. “SNL” alum Cheri : OTERI
Cheri Oteri was the SNL (“Saturday Night Live”) cast member who regularly appeared with Will Ferrell in the skit featuring a pair of Spartan cheerleaders.
16. Restaurant in the same corporate group as Applebee’s : IHOP
The International House of Pancakes (IHOP) was founded back in 1958. IHOP was originally intended to be called IHOE, the International House of Eggs, but that name didn’t do too well in marketing tests!
The Applebee’s chain of “Neighborhood Bar & Grill” restaurants was founded in 1980, with the first Applebee’s eatery opening in Decatur, Georgia. When it comes to “chain” restaurants, I like Applebee’s …
17. What rattlers that never bask in the sun may get? : PALE SCALES (from “pale ales”)
The scales covering the tip of a rattlesnake’s tail are made of keratin, the same structural protein that makes up the outer layer of human skin, as well as our hair and nails. The rattlesnake shakes its tail vigorously to warn off potential predators, causing the hollow scales to vibrate against one another and resulting in that scary “rattle” sound. The rattler’s tail muscles “fire” an incredible fifty times a second to achieve that effect, demonstrating one of the fastest muscular movements in the whole animal kingdom.
19. Pool element : GENE
The set of all genes in a particular population is known as the “gene pool”, a term coined in Russian by geneticist Aleksandr Sergeevich Serebrovskii in the 1920s. In general, the larger the gene pool the more diverse and robust the population.
22. Oaf : LUMMOX
The word “lummox” comes from East Anglian slang (northeast of London), and describes an ungainly and often clueless person. The term is probably a contraction of “lumbering ox”.
27. Strikebreakers at a brewery? : SIX-PACK SCABS (from “six-pack abs”)
We first started calling strikebreakers “scabs” in the early 1800s, and before that a scab was a person who refused to join a trade union (back as early 1777). The word probably comes from the use of “scab” as a symptom of a skin disease, and so is a term that is meant to insult.
The abdominal muscles (abs) are more correctly referred to as the rectus abdominis muscles. They are all called a “six-pack” in a person who has developed the muscles and who has low body fat. In my case, more like a keg …
34. “Curb Your Enthusiasm” creator : DAVID
Larry David was one of the creators of the sitcom “Seinfeld”, and was a co-writer of many of the episodes. David also stars in the HBO comedy “Curb Your Enthusiasm”, which has a very “Seinfeld” feel to it.
39. Controversial sightings : UFOS
In 1952, the USAF revived its studies of reported sightings of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) in a program called Project Blue Book. Project Blue Book ran from 1952 until it was shut down in 1969 with the conclusion that there was no threat to national security and that there were no sightings that could not be explained within the bounds of modern scientific knowledge.
41. Grammy category : FOLK
The first Grammy Awards Ceremony was held in 1959 and focused on recognizing outstanding achievement in the recording industry. The idea of a Grammy Award came up when recording executives were working on the Hollywood Walk of Fame project in the fifties. These executives concluded that there were many people in the recording industry deserving of accolades but who would probably never make it to the Walk of Fame. As a result, they founded the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. The Academy considered naming the award the “Eddies” after Thomas Edison, but then opted for “Grammy” after Edison’s invention: the gramophone.
43. Allen who managed the Beatles and Stones : KLEIN
Allen Klein was a big player in the music industry starting in the sixties. He managed the Beatles as well as the Rolling Stones, both groups at the same time. Klein was a controversial figure though, eventually spending a couple of months in jail for making false statements on a tax return.
45. What berets cover? : FRENCH SCALPS (from “French Alps”)
There are eight Alpine countries:
49. Odorless gas : ETHANE
Ethane is the second largest component of natural gas, after methane. Ethane’s main use is in the production of ethylene, a compound that is widely used in the chemical industry.
56. Comic actor Jacques : TATI
Jacques Tati was a very famous filmmaker and comic actor in his homeland of France. Even though he only directed six feature-length movies, Tati is often cited by insiders as one of the greatest movie directors of all time.
58. Words in praiseful titles : … TO A …
As in “Ode to a Nightingale”, perhaps.
60. Angry looks in the hayloft? : BARN SCOWLS (from “barn owls”)
The barn owl is the most common species of owl. The barn owl is found everywhere in the world, except in desert and polar regions.
63. Military wind : FIFE
A fife is a small flute that is often used in military and marching bands. The name “fife” comes from the German “Pfeife” meaning “pipe”.
64. African herbivore : RHINO
There are five types of rhinoceros that survive today, with the smaller Javan Rhino being the most rare. The rhinoceros is probably the rarest large mammal on the planet, thanks to poaching. Hunters mainly prize the horn of the rhino as it is used in powdered form in traditional Chinese medicine.
67. Quaker in the forest : ASPEN
The “quaking” aspen tree is so called because the structure of the leaves causes them to move easily in the wind, to “tremble, quake”.
68. Adele’s brother : FRED
Fred Astaire’s real name was Frederick Austerlitz. Fred was from Omaha, Nebraska and before he made it big in movies, he was one half of a celebrated music hall act with his sister Adele. The pair were particularly successful in the UK, and Adele ended up marrying into nobility in England, taking the name Lady Charles Cavendish.
1. They get carried away : REPOS
3. Pudding snack cup maker : JELL-O
If you like Jell-O, then you want to stop by LeRoy, New York where you can visit the only Jell-O museum in the world. While at the museum, you can walk along the Jell-O Brick Road …
5. Bone below the sacrum : COCCYX
The human coccyx is what is left of a tail that our evolutionary ancestors possessed.
The sacrum and the two ilia are three bones in the human pelvis.
6. State on the Colorado Plateau : UTAH
The Colorado Plateau is a geographical feature in the southwest, covering parts of Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona, roughly equivalent to what is known as the Four Corners region. The Colorado Plateau is home to the greatest concentration of national parks in the country. Included in the area are Grand Canyon NP, Zion NP, Bryce Canyon NP, Arches NP and Mesa Verde NP, to name but a few.
10. Lunch order with “special sauce” : BIG MAC
The iconic Big Mac sandwich was introduced nationally by McDonald’s in 1967. It was the creation of a Pittsburgh franchisee who offered it on the menu as a response to the very similar “Big Boy” sandwich offered by the competing Big Boy restaurant chain.
The dressing on a McDonald’s Big Mac was first described as a “special sauce” in a 1974 advertising campaign. Apparently, the “special sauce” is no “secret sauce”, as the recipe can be found quite readily online. It consists of mixture of regular mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish and yellow mustard all blended together, with some vinegar, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika.
12. Pro __ : BONO
The Latin term “pro bono publico” means “for the public good”, and is usually shortened to “pro bono”. The term applies to professional work that is done for free or at a reduced fee as a service to the public.
18. Flavorful : SAPID
Something that is “sapid” is “tasty, savory”. The opposite to “sapid” is “insipid”, meaning “without taste, bland”.
23. Cold War letters : USSR
The term “Cold War” was first used by the novelist George Orwell in a 1945 essay about the atomic bomb. Orwell described a world under threat of nuclear war as having a “peace that is no peace”, in a permanent state of “cold war”. The specific use of “cold war” to describe the tension between the Eastern bloc and the Western allies is attributed to a 1947 speech by Bernard Baruch, adviser to Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
25. Trident-shaped letters : PSIS
The Greek letter psi is the one that looks a bit like a trident or a pitchfork.
28. Johnnycakes : PONES
“Pone” is another word for corn bread, from the Powhatan word “apan” meaning “something baked”.
Johnnycake is a flatbread made from cornmeal that is associated with the Atlantic coast. There are claims that johnnycake originated in Rhode Island.
29. Top story : ATTIC
An attic or loft is a room or space located below the roof of a building. The term “attic” is a shortened form of “attic story”, the uppermost story or level of a house. This term “attic story” originally applied to a low, decorative level built on top of the uppermost story behind a building’s decorative facade. This use of decoration at the top of buildings was common in ancient Greece, and was particularly important in the Attica style. That Attica style was so called because it originated in the historical region of Attica that encompassed the city of Athens. And that’s how our attics are linked to ancient Greece.
30. Fine __ : CHINA
The ceramic known as “porcelain” can be referred to as “china” or “fine china”, as porcelain was developed in China.
31. Lady’s company? : AVON
In 1886, a young man called David McConnell was selling books door-to-door. To enhance his sales numbers he was giving out free perfume to the ladies of the houses that he visited. Seeing as his perfume was more popular than his books, he founded the California Perfume Company in New York City and started manufacturing and selling across the country. The company name was changed to Avon in 1939, and the famous “Avon Calling” marketing campaign was launched in 1954.
32. Take to the cleaners : BILK
The verb “to bilk”, meaning “to defraud”, comes from the card game of cribbage.
33. Fifth Avenue store : SAKS
Saks Fifth Avenue is a high-end specialty store that competes with the likes of Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus. The original Saks & Company business was founded by Andrew Saks in 1867. The first Saks Fifth Avenue store was opened on Fifth Avenue in New York City in 1924. There are now Saks Fifth Avenue stores in many major cities in the US, as well in several locations worldwide.
34. Keister : DUFF
“Duff” is a slang term for the buttocks, rump. The exact etymology isn’t known, but the term dates back to the 1830s.
Back in the early 1900s a “keister” was a safe or a strongbox. It has been suggested that this term was then used as slang by pickpockets for the rear trouser pocket in which one might keep a wallet. From this usage, keister appeared as a slang term for the buttocks in the early 1930s.
36. Suffrage, with “the” : VOTE
Nowadays, the word “suffrage” is used to mean “right to vote”. The term comes from the Latin noun “suffragium” that translates as “vote, right to vote”.
40. Moorish palace of southern Spain : ALHAMBRA
Alhambra is a magnificent fortress and palace in Granada, Andalusia in the south of Spain. The large complex was completed in the 14th century in the days when the Moors ruled Andalusia.
43. Dodge Aries, e.g. : K-CAR
The Dodge Aries (and the Plymouth Reliant) were Chrysler’s first “K-cars”, introduced in 1981. The K-cars were designed to carry 6 passengers, on two bench seats. Remember taking a corner a little too fast on those seats, in the days when no one wore seat belts?
51. “48 HRS.” co-star : NOLTE
The actor Nick Nolte got his big break playing opposite Jacqueline Bisset and Robert Shaw in “The Deep”, released in 1976. Prior to that he had worked as a model, and in fact appeared in a magazine advertisement for Clairol in 1972 alongside fellow model Sigourney Weaver.
“48 HRS.” is a hilarious 1982 movie starring Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte. Even though the lead characters play a convict and a cop who team up, “48 HRS.” is often cited as the first of the modern “buddy cop” movies, a precursor to the likes of “Beverly Hills Cop” and “Lethal Weapon”.
55. Name for a poodle : FIFI
The standard Poodle breed of dog is considered to be the second most intelligent breed, after the Border Collie. The name “poodle” comes from a Low German word meaning “to splash about”, reflecting the original use of the breed as a water retriever.
57. Diarist Frank : ANNE
Anne Frank has to be one of the most famous victims of the Holocaust. This is largely because the story of this young girl lives on in her widely published diary, and in adaptations of the diary for stage and screen. Anne Frank was a German until she lost her nationality in 1941 when the Nazis came to power. By this time she was living with her family in Amsterdam, as the Franks chose to flee Germany in 1933. When the Germans occupied the Netherlands, the family went into hiding in the attic of Otto Frank’s office building (Otto was Anne’s father). There the family hid for two whole years until they were betrayed. The family was split up, and Anne and her sister died from typhus in a concentration camp in 1945.