Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers end with a type of WHEEL. We have four of them, so are lacking a FIFTH WHEEL:
- 61A…Based on the ends of 17-, 23-, 38- and 50-Across, unwanted thing that this puzzle lacks..FIFTH WHEEL
- 17A…Imbibing no more..ON THE WAGON (giving “wagon wheel”)
- 23A…Tropical quencher..COCONUT WATER (giving “waterwheel”)
- 38A…”The Deer Hunter” ordeal..RUSSIAN ROULETTE (giving “roulette wheel”)
- 50A…Restaurant mascot with an electric guitar..CHUCK E CHEESE (giving “cheese wheel”)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
The first Uzi submachine gun was designed in the late 1940s by Major Uziel “Uzi” Gal of the Israel Defense Forces, who gave his name to the gun.
14…”Bates Motel” airer..A AND E
The A&E television network used to be a favorite of mine, with the “A&E” standing for “arts and entertainment”. A&E started out airing a lot of the old classic dramas, as well as biographies and arts programs. Now there seems to be more reality TV, with one of the flagship programs being “Dog the Bounty Hunter”. A slight change of direction I’d say …
“Bates Motel” is a TV series that started airing in 2013. The show is described as a prequel to the famous 1960 Hitchcock film “Psycho”, although it is set in the modern day.
That would be in baseball.
Nana is always spoiling the grandkids.
17…Imbibing no more..ON THE WAGON (giving “wagon wheel”)
The word “bib” comes from the Latin “bibere” meaning “to drink”, as does our word “imbibe”. So, maybe it’s less about spilling the food, and more about soaking up the booze …
19…Expression of pre-weekend gratitude..TGIF
“Thank God It’s Friday” (TGIF) is a relatively new expression that apparently originated in Akron, Ohio. It was a catchphrase used first by disk jockey Jerry Healy of WAKR in the early seventies. That said, one blog reader wrote me to say that he had been using the phrase in the fifties.
Liz Phair is a rock singer from New Haven, Connecticut. Phair started out in the industry releasing homemade tapes under the name Girly Sound.
34…Geneva-based commerce gp…WTO
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The stated aim of the WTO is to liberalize international trade. The organization was founded in 1995 when an international agreement on trade was reached that effectively replaced the existing General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) that was laid down in 1949.
35…Poet who wrote about shrimp, “At times, translucence / Is rather a nuisance”..NASH
The poet Ogden Nash is well known for his light and humorous verse. Try this one for size:
A shrimp who sought his lady shrimp
Could catch no glimpse
Not even a glimp.
At times, translucence
Is rather a nuisance.
38…”The Deer Hunter” ordeal..RUSSIAN ROULETTE (giving “roulette wheel”)
The disturbing game of Russian Roulette involves the placing of a single round in a revolver, spinning the cylinder and then a player firing the gun with the muzzle placed against his or her head. The game supposedly originated in Russia, and the name was first cited in a short story that dates back to 1937. The “game” was made famous by the 1978 movie “The Deerhunter” as it plays a central role in the film’s plot.
42…Parts of an old item?..EXES
An unmarried couple known to be involved with each other might appear in the gossip columns. This appearance as “an item” in the papers, led to the use of “item” to refer to such a couple, but only since the very early seventies.
The boxer breed of dog (one of my favorites!) originated in Germany. My first dog was a boxer/Labrador mix, a beautiful animal. Our current family dog is a boxer/pug mix, another gorgeous creature.
DNA contains nucleotide base sequences called genes, that are blueprints for used in the manufacture of proteins needed by the body. Our DNA is also “decorated” with epigenetic markers that modify the activity level of genes, and can even turn genes off. These epigenetic markers respond to environmental conditions, so that organisms with the same DNA can exhibit differences in behavior and appearance, as a result of differing environments. This explains which identical twins develop differences in appearance over time.
50…Restaurant mascot with an electric guitar..CHUCK E CHEESE (giving “cheese wheel”)
Chuck E. Cheese is a sit-down pizza restaurant that features entertainment for children. The original Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza Time Theatre was opened in San Jose, California in 1977 by founder Nolan Bushnell. Bushnell had already achieved success in the business world as the founder of Atari.
We don’t get to see Rosie O’Donnell on the screen very much these days. She had a very successful chat show that ran from 1996 to 2002. My favorite performance of hers on the big screen is in a supporting role to Meg Ryan in the 1993 movie “Sleepless in Seattle”.
Half of the letters in the word “noun” are letters N (ens).
Back in the days of yore in England, official documents were bound in bundles with red ribbon. So, getting through all the paperwork required “cutting through the red tape”.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created in 1970 during the Nixon administration. OSHA regulates workplaces in the private sector and regulates just one government agency, namely the US Postal Service.
Dangerous goods are commonly referred to as hazardous materials, or HazMat. People working with dangerous goods might wear a HazMat suit.
Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentina, located on the estuary of the Ria de la Plata. As a port city, the people of Buenos Aires are known as porteños (“people of the port”).
67…Subdue, in a way..TASE
“Taser” is a brand name. The generic term for the device is conducted electrical weapon (CEW).
Our term “dude” arose as slang in New York City in the 1880s, when it was used to describe a fastidious man. In the early 1900s, the term was extended to mean “city slickers”, Easterners who vacationed in the West. The first use of the term “dude ranch” was recorded in 1921.
1…”Get Smart” crime org…KAOS
The satirical comedy series called “Get Smart” was the creation of Mel Brooks and Buck Henry, and starred Don Adams as Agent 86, Maxwell Smart. Agent 86 worked for the spy agency CONTROL, alongside the lovely Agent 99. CONTROL’s sworn enemy was the criminal organization called KAOS. Both CONTROL and KAOS were originally intended to be acronyms, but creators Brooks and Henry were so busy launching the show that they forgot to come up with something suitable.
2…Prefix with bot..NANO-
Nanorobots (also “nanobots”) are tiny devices that range from 0.1 to 10 micrometers in size. The technology of nanorobotics is in its infancy, but it is hoped that nanobots might be used (for example) in medicine one day. The oft-cited application is the use of nanobots inserted inside the body to identify and destroy cancer cells.
Ear, Nose and Throat specialist (ENT)
4…Formed for a particular purpose..AD HOC
The Latin phrase “ad hoc” means “for this purpose”.
5…”E.T.” actress Wallace..DEE
The actress Dee Wallace is best known for playing young Elliot’s mother in the Steven Spielberg 1982 masterpiece “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial”.
In my opinion (IMO)
11…Appraised like many big-city eateries..ZAGAT-RATED
The Zagat Survey is best known for rating restaurants across the major cities of the US, but it also rates things like hotels, nightlife, shopping, airlines and even zoos. The survey was started by Tim and Nina Zagat in 1979, and back then the survey was simply a collection of New York City restaurant ratings provided by friends of the couple.
18…Texas I-35 city..WACO
The Texas city of Waco is named for the Wichita people known as the “Waco”, who occupied the area for thousands of years.
Interstate 35 runs in a north-south direction from Laredo, Texas to Duluth, Minnesota. So, I-35 almost runs all the way from the Mexican border to the Canadian border, but not quite …
22…Grounded flier since 2001..TWA
Trans World Airlines (TWA) was a big carrier in the US, but was perhaps even more recognized for its extensive presence in Europe and the Middle East. For many years, especially after the collapse of Pan-Am, TWA was considered the unofficial flag carrier for the US. The company started in 1930, the product of a forced merger of Transcontinental Air Transport and Western Air Express. The Transcontinental and Western Air that resulted (the original meaning of the acronym TWA) was what the Postmaster General wanted, a bigger airline to which the Postal Service could award airmail contracts.
“Crux” is the Latin word for “cross”, and came into English meaning “a central difficulty” in the early 1700s.
29…Plants with stickers..ROSEBUSHES
Believe it or not, roses don’t have any thorns. Thorns are derived from shoots, spines are derived from leaves, and prickles are derived from the epidermis. The rose’s defensive barbs are in fact prickles.
39…”The Morning Watch” novelist..AGEE
James Agee was a noted American film critic and screenwriter. Agee wrote an autobiographical novel “A Death in the Family” that won him his Pulitzer in 1958, albeit posthumously. He was also one of the screenwriters for the 1951 classic movie “The African Queen”.
40…One may stop traffic..NARC
“Narc” is a slang term for a law enforcement officer who tracks down criminals associated with illegal drugs. “Narc” is short for “narcotics officer”.
41…Makes oneself scarce..LAMS
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”.
Jaguar started out as a manufacturer of sidecars for motorcycles back in 1922, when the company was known as the Swallow Sidecar Company (SS for short). The company changed its name to Jaguar after WWII, because of the unfortunate connotations of the letters “SS” at that time.
Mentos are mints made by the Italian confectioner Perfetti Van Melle. You might have seen video of Mentos mints being dropped into bottle containing a carbonated drink. The surface of the mint causes an explosive release of carbon dioxide resulting in a geyser of foam that can shoot many feet up into the air.
Certs were the first breath mints to be marketed nationally in the US, hitting the shelves in 1956. A Cert is called a mint, but it isn’t really as it contains no mint oil and instead has its famous ingredient named “Retsyn”. Retsyn is a mixture of copper gluconate (giving the green flecks), partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil (not healthy!) and flavoring (maybe mint?).
50…”Tomb Raider” heroine Lara..CROFT
Lara Croft was introduced to the world as the main character in a pretty cool video game (I thought, back then) called “Tomb Raider”, back in 1996. Lara Croft moved to the big screen in 2001 and 2003, in two pretty awful movie adaptations of the game’s storyline. Angelina Jolie played Croft, and she did a very energetic job.
51…Book after Daniel..HOSEA
Hosea was one of the Twelve Prophets of the Hebrew Bible, also called the Minor Prophets of the Old Testament in the Christian Bible.
A young bird is said to have “fledged” when its wing muscles and feathers have developed enough for it to fly. The term “fledgling” is used for a bird that has fledged, but is still reliant on a parent for food and protection. The verb “to fledge” means “to acquire feathers”.
After being wheeled out of the Operating Room (OR) a patient might spend some time in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
63…”It __ a Very Good Year”..WAS
“It Was a Very Good Year” is a lovely song about an older man recounting the romances of his life. The Kingston Trio were the first to record the song, in 1961. However, I think that Frank Sinatra’s 1965 recording is probably the most famous …