Edited by: Rich Norris
Quicklink to comments
Today’s themed answers are UFOs, unidentified (i.e. they have no clue) flying objects. Clever …
- 70A. Area 51 phenomena … or what five puzzle answers are? : UFOS
- 18A. – : HELICOPTER
- 23A. – : GOODYEAR BLIMP
- 38A. – : BIPLANE
- 53A. – : HOT AIR BALLOON
- 61A. – : HANG GLIDER
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
11. “Happy Valley” airer : BBC
“Happy Valley” is a BBC crime drama set in the north of England that first aired in 2014. I’ve seen a few episodes on Netflix and plan to look at the remainder of the two series available when I get the chance. Good stuff …
14. Joie de vivre : ELAN
Our word “élan” was imported from French, in which language the word has a similar meaning to ours, i.e “style” or “flair”.
“Joie de vivre” means “joy of living” in French. We use the phrase to mean the happy, carefree enjoyment of life, like when we finish our crossword puzzles …
16. Spat ending : -ULA
A spatula is a tool or implement used for mixing, lifting or spreading. “Spatula” is the Latin name for the tool, and is a diminutive of the word “spatha” meaning “broad, flat blade”. “Spatha” gives rise to our related term “spade”.
18. – : HELICOPTER
Our term “helicopter” was absorbed from the French word “hélicoptère” that was coined by Gustave Ponton d’Amécourt in 1861. d’Amécourt envisioned aircraft that could fly vertically using rotating wings that “screwed” into the air. He combined the Greek terms “helix” meaning “spiral, whirl” and “pteron” meaning “wing” to give us “helicopter”.
21. Benin neighbor : TOGO
Togo is a country on the West African coast, one of the smallest nations on the continent. It is located between Ghana to the west, Benin to the east and Burkina Faso to the north.
The Republic of Benin is a country in West Africa. Benin used to be a French colony, and was known as Dahomey. Dahomey gained independence in 1975, and took the name Benin after the Bight of Benin, the body of water on which the country lies.
22. Most Rwandans : HUTUS
The Tutsi are the second largest population of people in Rwanda, with the Hutu being the largest group. The bloody conflict that has existed between the Tutsi and Hutu peoples dates back to about 1880 when Catholic missionaries arrived in the region. The missionaries found that they had more success converting the Hutus than the Tutsi, and when the Germans occupied the area during WWI they confiscated Tutsi land and gave it to Hutu tribes in order to reward religious conversion. This injustice fuels fighting to this very day.
23. – : GOODYEAR BLIMP
There is an important difference between a “blimp” (like the Goodyear Blimp) and an airship (like a Zeppelin). An airship is a rigid structure with an internal framework that helps maintain the shape of the airbag, whereas a blimp uses the pressure of the helium gas inside the airbag to give it shape.
The Goodyear tire company was founded in 1898. The company was named for Charles Goodyear, the man who invented vulcanized rubber in 1839. Despite the Goodyear name, Charles Goodyear himself had no connection with the company.
31. Money in Miyazaki : YEN
The coastal city of Miyazaki is located on Kyushu, the most southerly of the four main islands of Japan.
33. Free org. for law students : 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.
34. Rob Roy, for one : SCOT
Rob Roy was a folk hero in Scotland from the 18th century. He was a sort of Scottish Robin Hood, an outlaw who had the support of the populace. Rob Roy’s full name was Robert Roy MacGregor, itself an anglicization of the Scottish Raibeart Ruadh. He gave his name to a famous cocktail called a Rob Roy, a relative of the Manhattan that is made with Scotch instead of bourbon.
41. Poet inspired by the Battle of Baltimore : KEY
The lyrics of “The Star-Spangled Banner” were written first as a poem by Francis Scott Key, inspired by the bombarding by the British of the American forces at Fort McHenry that he witnessed during the Battle of Baltimore in September 1814. The words were then set to the tune of a popular British drinking song penned by John Stafford Smith called “The Anacreontic Song”, with the Anacreontic Society being a men’s club in London.
42. Trapezoid measure : AREA
A trapezoid is a four-sided shape in which at least one pair of sides are parallel.
44. Brooklyn pro : NET
The NBA’s Brooklyn Nets until relatively recently were the New Jersey Nets, based in Newark. Prior to 1977, the team was known as the New York Nets and played in various locations on Long Island. Ten years earlier, the Nets were called the New Jersey Americans and were headquartered in Teaneck, New Jersey.
47. Home of the “All-Natural Burger” : CARL’S JR
The Carl’s Jr. fast-food restaurant chain was founded in 1941 by Carl Karcher. Karcher’s first restaurant was a full-service establishment called Carl’s Drive-In Barbeque. He then built on his first success by opening a chain of smaller restaurants with a smaller menu and called them simply “Carl’s”, which was changed to Carl’s Jr. in 1954.
49. Bobby who lost to Billie Jean in the Battle of the Sexes : RIGGS
Bobby Riggs was a World No. 1 tennis player in the thirties and forties, both as an amatuer and a professional. However, Riggs is best remembered for playing “The Battle of the Sexes” match against Billie Jean King in 1973. Riggs was defeated by King in three straight sets.
53. – : HOT AIR BALLOON
The first manned flight in a hot air balloon took place in 1873 when Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier was carried aloft in a tethered flight. The balloon that he used was invented by Étienne and his brother Joseph-Michel Montgolfier. If you go see the Paris Las Vegas hotel, you can see giant replica of the Montgolfier balloon alongside a replica of the Eiffel Tower.
57. Riksbank currency : KRONA
The Sveriges Riksbank is a the central bank of Sweden.
Krona translates in English as “crown”, and is the currency of Sweden (plural “kronor”). As a member of the European Union, Sweden is required to adopt the euro as its official currency. Such a move isn’t really popular in Sweden and so the Swedish government has been using a legal loophole to allow the country to retain the krona.
59. Flower from the Greek for “rainbow” : IRIS
Iris is a genus of flowering plants that come in a wide variety of flower colors. The term “iris” is a Greek word meaning “rainbow”. Many species of irises are called “flags”. One suggestion is that the alternate name comes from the Middle English “flagge” meaning “reed”. This term was used because iris leaves look like reeds.
60. “Lenore” poet : POE
“Lenore” is a poem written by Edgar Allen Poe that was published in 1843. The name “Lenore” illustrates Poe’s penchant for using a dominant “L” sound in the names for females characters e.g. Annabel Lee, Eulalie and Ulalume. The opening lines of “Lenore” are:
AH, broken is the golden bowl! the spirit flown forever!
Let the bell toll!—a saintly soul floats on the Stygian river;
And, Guy De Vere, hast thou no tear?—weep now or nevermore!
64. When repeated, an “Animal House” chant : TOGA!
There’s a famous “toga party” in the movie “Animal House”.
The very funny 1978 movie “Animal House” has the prefix “National Lampoon’s …” because the storyline came out of tales that had already appeared in “National Lampoon” magazine. “Animal House” was to become the first in a long line of successful “National Lampoon” films. The main pledges in the movie are Tom Hulce (Pinto), who later played a magnificent “Amadeus”, and Stephen Furst (Flounder), who later played a regular role on television’s “Babylon 5”.
65. Latin trio word : AMO
Amo, amas, amat” … I love, you love, he/she/it loves”, in Latin.
66. Epoch when modern mammals emerged : EOCENE
The Eocene Epoch lasted from 56 to 34 million years ago. The name “Eocene” comes from the Greek “eos” meaning “dawn” and “kainos” meaning “new”. This is a reference to the “new dawn” for mammals, which emerged during the Eocene epoch.
67. Swindle : ROOK
“To rook” is to cheat. The earlier use of “rook” as a noun was as a disparaging term for a swindler or cheat. Somehow, it was insulting to refer to a person as a rook, as in the type of bird.
68. Its debut Apr. 1971 broadcast covered Senate hearings on the Vietnam War : NPR
National Public Radio (now just called NPR) was established in 1970 after President Johnson signed into law the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967. The station’s first broadcast took place in April of 1971, and was coverage of the US Senate hearings on the Vietnam War. The intent of the act was to provide funding for radio and television broadcasting that wasn’t simply driven by profit. As a longtime fan of the state-funded BBC in the UK, I’d have to agree with that intent …
70. Area 51 phenomena … or what five puzzle answers are? : UFOS
The famed Area 51 is a remote base in the USAF Nevada Test and Training Range. There’s no question that Area 51 is an unusual base in that frontline operational units are not deployed there. It seems that it is used for developing and testing new and classified weapons facilities for the US Military and other US agencies like the CIA. The government did not even acknowledge that Area 51 existed until 1995, and this official position fuelled a theory that the base is home to UFOs that landed on Earth.
2. Family name in Jane Austen’s “Persuasion” : ELLIOT
“Persuasion” was the last novel that Jane Austen completed. Publication took place in 1817, six months after the author passed away. Austen left the work unnamed, usually referring to it as “The Elliots”, a reference to the main family in the story. Austen’s brother Henry provided the name “Persuasion”, possibly a reference to Anne Elliot being persuaded not to marry her beloved early in the novel.
3. Hand : SAILOR
All hands on deck!
4. Explosive stuff : TNT
“TNT” is an abbreviation for trinitrotoluene. Trinitrotoluene was first produced in 1863 by the German chemist Joseph Wilbrand, who developed it for use as a yellow dye. TNT is relatively difficult to detonate so it was on the market as a dye for some years before its more explosive properties were discovered.
5. Lake straddling a Western border : TAHOE
Lake Tahoe is up in the Sierra Nevada mountains, right on the border between California and Nevada. Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in the country, and the largest lake in general, behind the five Great Lakes. It’s also the second deepest lake, with only the beautiful Crater Lake in Oregon being deeper. Given its location, there are tall casinos that sit right on the shore on the Nevada side of the state line where gambling is legal.
6. Tag Heuer competitor : OMEGA
Omega is a manufacturer of high-end watches based in Switzerland. An Omega watch was the first portable timepiece to make it to the moon.
TAG Heuer is a watch manufacturer based in Switzerland that has diversified into fashion accessories and even mobile phones. The original company was founded by Edouard Heuer in 1860. The company’s current name came about when Heuer was acquired by an entity called Techniques d’Avant Garde (TAG).
8. “Entourage” agent Gold : ARI
Ari Gold is a fictional character in the HBO series “Entourage”. “Entourage” tells the story of a rising film star, Vincent Chase (played by Adrian Grenier), a native of New York but now learning to handle himself in Hollywood. Vincent’s Hollywood agent is Ari Gold, played by Jeremy Piven.
9. Sea follower? : -TAC
SeaTac is a suburb of Seattle, Washington and is a city that surrounds the Seattle-Tacoma Airport (Sea-Tac), hence the city’s name.
10. Hebrew God : ELOHIM
“Elohim” is a Hebrew word meaning “god” or “gods”.
11. Infantry equipment carrier : BUTT PACK
In the British Isles, a “fanny pack” is called a “bum bag”. The use of the word “bum” is considered more polite than the word “fanny”, which has a very rude meaning in that part of the world. In North America, we sometimes use the term “butt pack” for the same thing.
12. Color on le drapeau français : BLEU
The French flag (“le drapeau français” in French) is a tricolor of blue, white and red. The blue and red colors in the flag date back to the French Revolution, when the Paris militia that participated in the storming of the Bastille wore a cockade of blue and red. Subsequently, this blue and red was added to white to create a three-color national cockade that was sported by the national militia. The design of the national cockade was absorbed into the national flag that was adopted in 1794.
13. Animated film primarily set in Radiator Springs : CARS
“Cars” is a 2006 animated feature from Pixar. The great cast of voice actors includes Paul Newman in his last movie role before he passed away in 2008.
19. Some heels : PUMPS
A pump is a woman’s shoe that doesn’t have a strap. Such shoes are probably called “pumps” because of the sound they make while walking in them.
21. Laid-back : TYPE B
The Type A and Type B personality theory originated in the fifties. Back then, individuals were labelled as Type A in order to emphasize a perceived increased risk of heart disease. Type A personality types are so called “stress junkies”, whereas Type B types are relaxed and laid back. But there doesn’t seem to be much scientific evidence to support the linkage between the Type A personality and heart problems.
24. V-J __ : DAY
World War II started in 1 September 1939 with the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany. V-E Day (Victory in Europe Day) was celebrated on 8 May 1945, when the German military surrendered in Berlin. V-J Day (Victory over Japan Day) was celebrated on 2 September 1945 when the Japanese signed the surrender document aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.
25. Taiwanese tea drink : BOBA
Bubble tea, sometimes called Boba tea, is a tea-based drink from Taiwan.
26. Quicken product : LOANS
Quicken is a popular software application primarily used for managing personal finances. The Quicken program was developed by Intuit, a company that purchased Rock Financial in 1999. Intuit renamed the Rock Financial Lending Institution to Quicken Loans.
30. Bachelor pad, perhaps : STY
Back in the 16th century a “pad” was a bundle of straw to lie on, and came to mean a “sleeping place” in the early 1700s. The term was revitalized in the hippie era.
32. Raphael or Leonardo, in fiction : NINJA
The “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” started out as a parody of comic book superheroes, first appearing in a self-published comic book in 1984. A couple of years later the characters were picked up by someone who built a whole line toys around the characters, and then television and movies followed. Do you remember the names of all four of the Turtles? Their names were all taken from Renaissance artists:
33. __-rock music : ALT
I really don’t know what alt-rock is, and I can’t seem to work it out. Just an old fuddy-duddy …
35. Cheese go-with : MAC
Thomas Jefferson’s name is associated with the dish we known today as “mac ‘n’ cheese”. The future president discovered the baked macaroni with Parmesan cheese while in Paris and in northern Italy. He started serving the dish to guests in the US, and even had a machine imported to make the macaroni locally. Whether or not Jefferson was the first to bring mac ‘n’ cheese to America isn’t entirely clear, but it has been popular ever since.
36. Dead-ball __: early baseball period : ERA
Before 1919, when Babe Ruth started to hit home runs like they were going out of style, baseball was more of a strategy-driven sport. There was less emphasis on power hitting, and more emphasis on playing “small ball”, with a focus on stolen bases and hit-and-run plays. In addition, the ball used was relatively “dead” and unresponsive to the bat. As a result, the period before 1919 is referred to as baseball’s “dead-ball era”.
39. Prefix with scope : PERI-
The prefix “peri-” is Greek in origin and means “around”. An example of its use is “periscope”, a device on a submarine for looking “around”.
40. Sandwich and Salisbury VIPs : EARLS
Meats placed between slices of bread was first called a sandwich in the 18th century, named after the Fourth Earl of Sandwich. The Earl was fond of eating “sandwiches” while playing cards at his club.
The British title of Earl of Salisbury has been awarded and lost several times in history. Some of those losses coincided with the execution of the person holding the title at the time.
46. Jazz pianist Evans : GIL
Gil Evans was a jazz musician who collaborated with Miles Davis.
55. Spiner of “Star Trek: T.N.G.” : BRENT
Actor Brent Spiner plays the android named Lieutenant Commander Data on television’s “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. Spiner also played the eccentric Dr. Brackish Okun in the 1996 movie “Independence Day”.
56. Buenos __ : AIRES
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”).
57. Mongol sovereign : KHAN
A “khan” was a medieval sovereign, a ruler over Mongol, Turkish and Tatar tribes.
63. “ER” setting : ICU
Intensive care unit (ICU)
“ER” is a TV medical drama that was created by successful novelist and screenwriter MIchael Crichton. The show had an original run of 15 seasons and featured quite a cast of actors who came and went over time. The cast included Anthony Edwards, George Clooney, Noah Wyle, Eriq La Salle, Julianna Margulies and Angela Bassett.
64. Play about Capote : TRU
“Tru” was written by Jay Presson Allen and is a play about Truman Capote that premiered in 1989. There is a classic anachronism in the piece. It is set in Capote’s New York City apartment at Christmas 1975. At one point the Capote character talks about suicide, saying that he has enough pills to stage his own Jonestown Massacre. The Jonestown Massacre didn’t happen until three years later, in 1978.