Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers in the across-direction form a pair, one starting with LEFT, and the other ending with RIGHT. So, LEFT is located in the left of the grid, and RIGHT is in the right of the grid. Similarly, the pair of themed answers in the down-direction give us UP, up at the top of the grid, and DOWN, down at the bottom of the grid:
- 20A…”Bro, I thought you were gonna help”..LEFT ME HANGIN’
- 49A…Follow the ethical path..DO WHAT’S RIGHT
- 10A…Moving around..UP AND ABOUT
- 30A…”You’re talking too loud”..TONE IT DOWN
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1…Home for Pogo..SWAMP
“Pogo” is a comic strip that was launched in 1948, the creation of cartoonist Walt Kelly. The story centers on animals that live in the Okefenokee Swamp on the Georgia-Florida border, with the title character “Pogo Possum” being an anthropomorphic opossum.
The word “easel” comes from an old Dutch word meaning “donkey” would you believe? The idea is that an easel carries its load (an oil painting, say) just as a donkey would be made to carry a load.
15…Pie __ mode..A LA
In French, “à la mode” simply means “fashionable”. In America, the term has also come to describe a way of serving pie, usually with ice cream, or as I recall from when I lived in Upstate New York, with cheese.
Richard Wagner was born in the Jewish quarter of Leipzig in 1813. Decades later, Wagner became known not only for writing magnificent music, but also for his anti-semitic views and writings.
“Adieu” is the French for “goodbye” or “farewell”, from “à Dieu” meaning “to God”. The plural of “adieu” is “adieux”.
“Chéri” is a form of familiar address in French, meaning “dear, … “Chéri” is the form used when talking to a male, and “chérie” to a female.
18…CBS forensic drama..CSI
The “CSI” franchise of TV shows has been tremendously successful, but seems to have finally wound down. “CSI: Miami” (the “worst” of the franchise, I think) was cancelled in 2012 after ten seasons. “CSI: NY” (the “best” of the franchise) was cancelled in 2013 after nine seasons. The original “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”, set in Las Vegas, hung in there until 2015 when it ended with a two-hour TV movie. The youngest show in the series was “CSI: Cyber”. It lasted for two season before being canceled in 2016.
Xanax is a brand name of the antianxiety drug alprazolam. Xanax is one of the most commonly misused prescription drugs in the US, with wide acceptance in the illegal recreational drug market.
23…Many a GI..PVT
The lowest military rank of soldier is often called “private” (pvt.). The term comes from the Middle Ages when “private soldiers” were hired or conscripted by noblemen to form a private army. The more generic usage of “private” started in the 1700s.
The initials “G.I.” stand for “Government Issue” and not “General Infantry” as is often believed. GI was first used in the military to denote equipment made from Galvanized Iron and during WWI, incoming German shells were nicknamed “GI cans”. Soon after, the term GI came to be associated with “Government Issue” and eventually became an adjective to describe anything associated with the Army.
24…Jerry Garcia’s band, familiarly..THE DEAD
The Grateful Dead were a rock band from the San Francisco Bay Area that was founded in 1965. “The Dead” disbanded in 1995 following the death of lead guitarist Jerry Garcia. Grateful Dead fans (including my wife) refer to themselves as “Deadheads”.
31…Avril Lavigne’s “Sk8er __”..BOI
“Sk8er Boi” was released as a single in 2002 by Avril Lavigne. I’m probably not going to buy this one …
Avril Lavigne is a Canadian musician. Lavigne was the youngest female solo artist to reach number one in the charts in the UK, which she did at 17 years of age in 2002 with her debut album “Let Go”.
37…Gonzalez boy in 2000 headlines..ELIAN
The immigration status of young Cuban boy Elián González was all over the news in 2000. Elián’s mother drowned while trying to enter the US illegally, whereas Elián and his mother’s boyfriend survived the journey. The INS placed Elián in the care of paternal relatives in the US who then petitioned to have the boy stay with them permanently, against the wishes of Elián’s father back in Cuba. After court proceedings, the federal authorities forcibly removed Elián from his relatives in the US, and he was returned to his father who took him back to Cuba. Back in Cuba, Fidel Castro stepped in and befriended Elián, so he has influential sponsorship now in his homeland as a result of his ordeal. Elián has grown up, and earned himself a degree in industrial engineering in 2016.
39…Look at lasciviously..OGLE
“Lascivious” is such an appropriate-sounding word, I always think. It means lecherous or salacious.
43…”… __ saw Elba”..ERE I
The three most famous palindromes in English have to be:
- Able was I ere I saw Elba
- A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!
- Madam, I’m Adam
One of my favorite words is “Aibohphobia”, although it doesn’t appear in the dictionary and is a joke term. “Aibohphobia” is a great way to describe a fear of palindromes, by creating a palindrome out of the suffix “-phobia”.
45…More like a button?..CUTER
We use the phrase “cute as a button” over here in North America. When I was growing up on the other side of the Atlantic, we said “bright as a button”. I believe both phrases have the same meaning.
Ska originated in Jamaica in the late fifties and was the precursor to reggae music. No one has a really definitive etymology of the term “ska”, but it is likely to be imitative of some sound.
“Ojo” is Spanish for “eye”.
The most famous work of French writer Émile Zola is his 1898 open letter “J’Accuse!” written to then French president Félix Faure. The letter was published on the front page of a leading Paris newspaper, and accused the government of anti-Semitism in its handling of the trial of Captain Alfred Dreyfus. Dreyfus was a Jewish military officer in the French army, falsely accused and convicted of spying for Germany. Even after the error was discovered, the government refused to back down and let Dreyfus rot away on Devil’s Island rather than admit to the mistake. It wasn’t until 1906, 12 years after the wrongful conviction, that Dreyfus was freed and reinstated, largely due to the advocacy of Emile Zola.
64…Computer program suffix..EXE
In the Windows Operating System, a file with the extension .exe is an “executable” file.
“Frozen” is a 2013 animated feature from Walt Disney Studios that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen”.
8…Minnesota college named for Norway’s patron..SAINT OLAF
St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota was named for the former king and patron saint of Norway, Olaf II.
Back as far as 1876, Moxie was a brand name of a “medicine” peddled with the claim that it “built up your nerve”. In 1924, Moxie was registered as a trademark for a bitter, non-alcoholic beverage (no more claims of nerve-building). And we’ve used the term “moxie” to mean “nerve” ever since …
13…Classic doo-wop horn..SAX
The saxophone was invented by Belgian Adolphe Sax. Sax developed lip cancer at one point in his life, and one has to wonder if his affliction was related to his saxophone playing (I am sure not!). I had the privilege of visiting Sax’s grave in the Cemetery of Montmartre in Paris a few years ago.
Doo-wop developed in the 1940s and can be described as a vocal-based R&B music. Even though the style has been around since the forties, the name doo-wop wasn’t introduced until the early sixties.
An “émigré” is an emigrant. The term is French in origin, and particularly applies to someone who is a political refugee from his or her native land.
Après-ski is a French term, meaning “after skiing”, and refers to the good times to be had after coming off the slopes.
34…Sewing machine inventor..ELIAS HOWE
Elias Howe was an American inventor. Howe wasn’t the first to come up with the idea of a sewing machine, but he was the first to develop one that was functional.
The coyote is a canine found in most of Central and North America. The name “coyote” is Mexican Spanish, in which language it means “trickster”. Coyotes can sometimes mate with domestic dogs, creating hybrid animals known as “coydogs”. Coyotes can also mate with wolves, creating a “coywolf”. South Dakota named the coyote its state animal in 1949.
Rosetta is a coastal city and port on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt. The Rosetta Stone is an Ancient Egyptian artifact of tremendous importance in deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics. Carvings on the stone are actually three translations of the same passage of prose, one in Egyptian hieroglyphics, one in Egyptian Demotic language, and one in classical Greek. The stone was discovered by the French military during Napoleon’s 1798 campaign in Egypt. Before the French could get it back to France, the stone somehow ended up in enemy hands (the British), so it is now on display in the British Museum. Ownership of the stone is very much in dispute. The French want it, and understandably, the Egyptians would like it back.
50…”Stronger than dirt!” cleanser..AJAX
Ajax cleanser has been around since 1947, and it’s “stronger than dirt!” That was the most famous slogan over here in the US. On my side of the pond, the celebrated slogan was “it cleans like a white tornado”.
51…”Joy of Cooking” writer Rombauer..IRMA
Irma Rombauer was the author of the famous cookbook “The Joy Of Cooking”. Rombauer self-published the book back in 1931 in St. Louis, Missouri. She and her family continued to publish privately as demand was high, and then a commercial printing house picked it up in 1936. “The Joy of Cooking” has been in print continuously ever since.
54…Adorned with Angel Soft, say..TPED
TP’ing (toilet papering) is a prank involving the covering of some object or location with rolls and rolls of toilet paper. If you live in Texas or Minnesota, that little “prank” is legal, but if you live here in California it is classed as mischief or vandalism.
The pulp and paper company Georgia-Pacific sells toilet paper using the brand names Angel Soft, Quilted Northern and Soft n’ Gentle.
56…Food service trade org…NRA
The National Restaurant Association is a powerful lobbying organization in Washington, DC that is sometimes referred to as “the other NRA”, to distinguish it from the National Rifle Association. One focus of “the other NRA” is to hold down labor costs by resisting efforts to raise the minimum wage. The organization has been effective in holding down the federal minimum wage for tipped employees to $2.13 per hour, a rate that has been in effect since 1991.