Edited by: Rich Norris
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Each of today’s themed clues comprises three words, beginning with the letters B, T and W:
- 69A…Incidentally, in texting … and a hint to three long puzzle answers..BTW
- 16A…Expose wrongdoing..BLOW THE WHISTLE
- 37A…With the breeze at your back, in sailing..BEFORE THE WIND
- 60A…Where the driver sits..BEHIND THE WHEEL
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1…Hospital IV amts…CCS
Fluids in an IV (intravenous drip) might be measured in ccs (cubic centimeters).
4…Irrational fear sufferer’s suffix..-PHOBE
Here are some phobias that I find quite interesting:
- Somniphobia – fear of falling asleep
- Coulrophobia – fear of clowns
- Omphalophobia- fear of the navel
- Nomophobia- fear of being without mobile phone coverage
- Triskaidekaphobia- fear of the number 13
The Texas city of Waco is named for the Wichita people known as the “Waco”, who occupied the area for thousands of years.
Argot is a French term, the name given in the 17th century to “the jargon of the Paris underworld”. Nowadays argot is the set of idioms used by any particular group, the “lingo” of that group.
Our word “élan” was imported from French, in which language the word has a similar meaning to ours, i.e “style” or “flair”.
Olga Korbut is from modern-day Belarus, but was born during the days of the Soviet Union. Korbut competed for the USSR team in the 1972 and 1976 Olympic Games. She was 17 when she appeared in the 1972 Munich Games, and had been training in a sports school since she was 8-years-old. The world fell in love with her as she was a very emotional young lady, readily expressing joy and disappointment, something that we weren’t used to seeing in athletes from behind the Iron Curtain. Korbut immigrated to the US in 1991 and now lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.
21…Wok cook’s flavoring..MSG
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is the sodium salt of a naturally-occurring,non-essential amino acid called glutamic acid. It is used widely as a flavor enhancer, particularly in many Asian cuisines. Whether or not it is harmful seems to be still under debate. I say that something produced in a test tube shouldn’t be in our food …
“Wok” is a Cantonese word, the name for the frying pan now used in many Asian cuisines.
26…Baseball card stat..RBI
Run batted in (RBI)
27…Day, in Durango..DIA
Durango is one of the 31 states of Mexico. Durango is landlocked, and is located in the northwest of the country.
28…MBA hopeful’s test..GRE
Passing the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is usually a requirement for entry into graduate school here in the US.
43…Hot chocolate drinks..COCOAS
The beverages hot cocoa and hot chocolate differ from each other in that the latter contains cocoa butter, whereas the former does not.
The actor Esai Morales is best known in the world of film for the 1987 movie “La Bamba”, which depicted the life of Ritchie Valens and his half-brother Bob Morales (played by Esai). On the small screen, Morales plays Lt. Tony Rodriguez on “NYPD Blue” and Joseph Adama on “Caprica”.
Argentina is the second largest country in South America (after Brazil), and geographically is the world’s largest Spanish-speaking nation. The name “Argentina” of course comes from the Latin “argentum”, the word for “silver”. It is thought that the name was given by the early Spanish and Portuguese conquerors who also named the Rio de la Plata (the “Silver River”). Those early explorers got hold of lots of silver objects that they found among the native population.
Brazil is the largest country in South America, and the fifth largest country in the world (after Russia, Canada, China and the US). Brazil was a Portuguese colony from 1500 to 1815. The official name of the country under Portuguese rule was Terra da Santa Cruz (Land of the Holy Cross). However, European sailors used the name Terra do Brasil (Land of Brazil), a reference to the brazilwood tree that was much prized in Europe for the deep red dye that it produced.
51…What it takes to tango..TWO
The dramatic dance called the tango originated in the late 1800s in the area along the border between Argentina and Uruguay. Dancers and orchestras from Buenos Aires in particular traveled to Europe and beyond in the early twentieth century and brought the tango with them. The tango craze first struck Europe in Paris in the 1910s, and from there spread to London and Berlin, crossing the Atlantic to New York in 1913.
53…Maple syrup rating..GRADE A
Maple syrup comes in three grades:
- Grade A
- Processing grade
55…Bank acct. earnings..INT
A bank account (acct.) usually earns Interest (int.)
59…Like “Supergirl,” ratings-wise..TV-PG
The television show “Supergirl” debuted in 2015. The title character is portrayed by Melissa Benoist, an actress who found fame playing Marley rose in the show “Glee”.
64…Decimated Asian sea..ARAL
The Aral Sea is a great example of how man can have a devastating effect on his environment. In the early sixties the Aral Sea covered 68,000 square miles of Central Asia. Soviet Union irrigation projects drained the lake to such an extent that today the total area is less than 7,000 square miles, with 90% of the lake now completely dry. Sad …
“To decimate” is wipe out a large proportion of a population. The term arose in the from the ancient practice of punishing military units found guilty of mutiny. One in ten soldiers in the rebellious group would be executed, with the choice made in a lottery. The term comes from the Latin “decimare” meaning “to remove one-tenth”.
66…Genetics lab subj…RNA
Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up each protein. That sequence is read in DNA by messenger RNA, and amino acids are delivered for protein manufacture in the correct sequence by what is called transfer RNA. The amino acids are then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA.
Rhode Island is the smallest state in the union, but is the second most densely populated. (after New Jersey). Rhode Island is known as the Ocean State, largely because about 14% of the state’s area is made up of ocean bays and inlets. Exactly how Rhode Island got its name is a little unclear. What is known is that way back in 1524, long before the Pilgrims came to New England, the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano likened an island in the area to the Island of Rhodes in the Mediterranean. There were subsequent references to “Rhode Island” in English publications, before the colonists arrived.
69…Incidentally, in texting … and a hint to three long puzzle answers..BTW
By the way (BTW)
1…RoboCop is one..CYBORG
“Cyborg” is an abbreviation for “cybernetic organism”, a being that is made up of both organic and synthetic parts.
“RoboCop” is a film that was released in 1987, starring Peter Weller in the title role. Weller wore a very impressive “robot” suit for the film, the most expensive item on the set, costing over a million dollars. Weller would lose three pounds a day in sweat alone as temperatures inside the suit went to over 100 degrees F.
2…Wine storage area..CELLAR
Our word “cellar” comes from the Latin “cellarium”, meaning “pantry, storeroom”. The literal translation of the Latin is “group of cells”.
A “stogie” (also “stogy”) is both a “rough, heavy shoe” and a “long, cheap cigar”. Both items were favored by the drivers of the covered wagons called “Conestogas” that wended their way across the Midwest in days gone by. The term “stogie” is derived from the name of the wagon, which itself is named after the area in which the wagons were built: Conestoga, near Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
His/Her Royal Highness (HRH)
An ogee is a type of S-curve. Specifically it is a figure consisting of two arcs that curve in opposite directions (like an S) but both ends of the curve end up parallel to each other (which is not necessarily true for an S).
Ethers are a whole class of organic compounds, but in the vernacular “ether” is specifically diethyl ether. Diethyl ether was once very popular as a general anesthetic.
9…White terrier, familiarly..WESTIE
The West Highland White Terrier is a cute-looking little white dog from Scotland. The “Westie” looks very much like a related breed, the little black Scottish Terrier. The two breeds can be seen sitting side-by-side on the famous label of Black & White Scotch whisky.
10…Ctrl-__-Del: PC reboot combo..ALT
Control-Alt-Delete is a keyboard command on IBM PC compatible systems used for a soft reboot, or more recently to bring up the task manager in the Windows operating system. Bill Gates tells us that the command was originally just a device to be used during development and was never meant to “go live”. He once said that “Ctrl+Alt+Del” was a mistake, and that he would have preferred a dedicated key on the keyboard that carried out the same function.
An Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) is a ballistic missile with the range necessary to cross between continents. Being ballistic (unlike a cruise missile), an ICBM is guided during the initial launch phase, but later in flight just relies on thrust and gravity to arrive at its target. It is defined as intercontinental as it has a range greater than 3,500 miles. ICBMs are really only used for delivering nuclear warheads. Scary stuff …
22…Many pride parade participants..GAYS
The first gay pride parades were held all on the same weekend in 1970, in New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
“Ergo” is the Latin word for “hence, therefore”.
25…Bucks and does..DEER
A male deer is usually called a “buck”, and a female a “doe”.
Superman was sent to Earth in a rocket as a child by his parents who were living on the doomed planet of Krypton. On Earth he was discovered by the Kents, farmers who lived near the fictional town of Smallville. The Kents raised the infant as their own, giving him the name Clark.
33…Superman lover Lane..LOIS
Lois Lane has been the love interest of Superman/Clark Kent since the comic series was first published in 1938. Lois and Clark both work for the big newspaper in the city of Metropolis called “The Daily Planet”. The couple finally got hitched in the comics (and on television’s “Lois and Clark”) in 1996. But never mind all that … one has to wonder how challenging the crossword is in “The Daily Planet” …
41…Berry rich in antioxidants..ACAI
Açaí is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.
45…Ugly duckling, as we learn later..SWAN
Hans Christian Andersen’s tale “The Ugly Duckling” has to be one of the most endearing ever written. Unlike so many “fairy tales”, “The Ugly Duckling” isn’t based on any folklore and simply a product of Andersen’s imagination. It is speculated that Andersen was the illegitimate son of the Crown Prince of Denmark, and that he wrote the story of the ugly duckling that turned into a beautiful swan as a metaphor for the secret royal lineage that was within Andersen himself.
47…”-ly” word, usually..ADVERB
Because I was rapped on the knuckles with a ruler at school for using bad grammar as a kid many moons ago, I cringe when I hear phrases like “real easy”. The “real” is modifying the implied verb “to be” as in “it is really easy”, so we should be using the adverb “really” instead of the adjective “real”. But I hear adjectives used as adverbs all the time, and I’ve even seen “real” listed as an “informal adverb” in at least one American dictionary. So, I’ll just whine here and accept the colloquialism. Our crosswords should move with the times, even if I don’t …
54…Part of NCAA: Abbr…ATH
National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)
61…Evil film computer..HAL
In Arthur C. Clarke’s “Space Odyssey” (famously adapted for the big screen as “2001: A Space Odyssey”) the computer system that went rogue was called HAL 9000, or simply “HAL”. HAL stands for Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer. Even though, Clarke denied it, there’s a good argument that can be made that the acronym HAL is a veiled reference to IBM, the big player in the world of computing at the time of the novel’s publication (1968). The acronym HAL is just a one-letter shift from the initials “IBM”.