Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers are common phrases with a letter P at the start of one word changed to the letters CH:
- 23A. Large retailer’s overexpansion, perhaps? : CHAIN KILLER (from “painkiller”)
- 29A. Welcome summer cold snap? : HAPPY CHILL (from “happy pill”)
- 36A. Measure of stress inflicted by a crowd’s roar? : CHEER PRESSURE (from “peer pressure”)
- 59A. Storage unit for spray bottles, trowels, etc.? : GARDEN CHEST (from “garden pest”)
- 79A. Soup for toddlers? : BABY CHOWDER (from “baby powder”)
- 101A. Holiday pantomime game? : EASTER CHARADE (from “Easter parade”)
- 110A. Necklace for a macho heartthrob? : STUD CHOKER (from “stud poker”)
- 119A. Little bird wielding an ax? : GUITAR CHICK (from “guitar pick”)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Baloney : TRIPE
“Tripe” is an informal term meaning “rubbish, of little value”. Tripe is actually the rubbery lining of say a cow, which in the UK is traditionally eaten with onions.
6. Novelist Evelyn : WAUGH
Evelyn Waugh was an English author, most famous for his fabulous 1945 novel “Brideshead Revisited”. Evelyn Waugh met and fell in love with Evelyn Gardner in 1927. Known to friends as “He-Evelyn” and “She-Evelyn”, the couple were married in 1929 (but divorced one year later).
11. “The Sound of Music” high points : ALPS
“The Sound of Music” is a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, made into a celebrated movie in 1965 starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. The musical is based on “The Story of the Trapp Family Singers”, a memoir by Maria von Trapp. The von Trapp family ended up in Stowe, Vermont after the war, and one family descended from the Vermont von Trapps lives here in the same town in which I live in California.
21. One with kids : GOAT
Male goats are called “bucks” or “billies”, although castrated males are known as “wethers”. Female goats are called “does” or “nannies”, and young goats are referred to as “kids”.
22. One-eyed Norse deity : ODIN
In Norse mythology, Odin was the chief of the gods. Odin’s wife Frigg was the queen of Asgard whose name gave us our English term “Friday” (via Anglo-Saxon). Odin’s son was Thor, and his name gave us the term “Thursday”. Odin himself gave us our word “Wednesday”, from “Wodin”, the English form of his name.
25. Georgetown hoopster : HOYA
The athletic teams of Georgetown University are known as the Hoyas. The name is derived from “Hoya Saxa”, a traditional cheer yelled out at Georgetown games as far back as 1893. The term is a mixture of Greek and Latin, with the Greek word “hoya” meaning “such” or “what”, and “saxa” translating from Latin as “rocks” or “small stones”. The cheer is usually rendered in English as “what rocks!”.
33. Terrier of old mysteries : ASTA
Asta is the wonderful little dog in the superb “The Thin Man” series of films starring William Powell and Myrna Loy (as Nick and Nora Charles). In the original story by Dashiell Hammett, Asta was a female Schnauzer, but on screen Asta was played by a wire-haired fox terrier called “Skippy”. Skippy was also the dog in “Bringing up Baby” with Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, the one who kept stealing the dinosaur bone. Skippy retired in 1939, so Asta was played by other dogs in the remainder of “The Thin Man” films.
42. Monster slain by Hercules : HYDRA
The Lernaean Hydra was a mythical sea snake that had multiple heads. Heracles had to slay the Hydra of Lerna as the second of his Twelve Labors.
43. Printer brand owned by Seiko : EPSON
Seiko Epson is a Japanese company, one of the largest manufacturers of printers in the world. The company has its roots in the watch business, roots that go back to 1942. Seiko was chosen as the official timekeeper for the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and was asked to supply a timer that produced a printed record. This request brought Seiko into the business of printer production. The company developed the world’s first mini-printer for the 1964 Games and called it EP-101 (EP standing for Electronic Printer). In 1975 Seiko introduced the next generation of EP printers which was called EPSON, from “SON of EP”. Cute, huh?
44. Black Friday mo. : NOV
In the world of retail, “Black Friday” is the day after Thanksgiving in the US. Black Friday is when many stores start the holiday shopping season, and so offer deep discounts to get ahead of the competition.
46. Autocrats until 1917 : TSARS
The year 1917 saw two revolutions in Russia, with the pair collectively called “the Russian Revolution”. As a result of the February Revolution that centered on Petrograd, the last Emperor of Russia (Tsar Nicholas II) abdicated and members of the Imperial parliament took control of the country, forming the Russian Provisional Government. The Provisional Government was itself overthrown in the October Revolution, by Vladimir Lenin and the Bolshevik party.
50. News-selling org. : UPI
Founded in 1958, United Press International (UPI) used to be one of the biggest news agencies in the world, sending out news by wire to the major newspapers. UPI ran into trouble with the change in media formats at the end of the twentieth century and lost many of its clients as the afternoon newspapers shut down due to the advent of television news. UPI, which once employed thousands, still exists today but with just a handful of employees.
51. Resort in the Caucasian Riviera : SOCHI
Sochi is a city in the west of Russian on the Black Sea coast. It is the largest resort city in the whole country. Sochi is going through a busy phase in its life. It hosted the 2014 Winter Olympic Games and the Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix from 2014, and is scheduled to host some games for the 2018 World Cup in soccer.
53. Stout holder : STEIN
The term “stout” was first used for a type of beer in the 1600s when was used to describe a “strong, stout” brew, and not necessarily a dark beer as it is today.
A stein is a type of beer glass. The term is German in origin, and is short for “Steinkrug” meaning “stone jug”. “Stein” is the German for “stone”.
55. Copacabana beach locale : RIO
Copacabana is a neighborhood in the city of Rio de Janeiro that is home to a famous (and much-used) beach. The neighborhood is named for a chapel there, dedicated to the Virgen de Copacabana (Our Lady of Copacabana). The virgen de Copacabana is the patron saint of Bolivia, with the original Copacabana being a Bolivian town located on the southeastern shore of Lake Titicaca.
62. __-Canada: Esso competitor : PETRO
Petro-Canada started out life as a government-owned corporation in 1976. Petro-Canada is now a brand name of Suncor Energy.
64. Don Juan : ROUE
“Roue” is a lovely word, I think, describing a less than lovely man. A roue could otherwise be described as a cad, someone of loose morals. “Roue” comes from the French word “rouer” meaning “to break on a wheel”. This describes the ancient form of capital punishment where a poor soul was lashed to a wheel and then beaten to death with cudgels and bars. I guess the suggestion is that a roue, with his loose morals, deserves such a punishment.
Don Juan is a flighty character who has been featured by a number of authors, poets and composers, including Molière, Byron, and Mozart. In the underlying legend, Don Juan ends up talking to the statue of the dead father of one of his conquests. Don Juan dines with the ghost of the dead man and when shaking the hand of the ghost he is dragged away to hell. We now use the term “Don Juan” to describe any womanizer or ladies’ man.
65. Bairns : WEE ONES
“Bairn” is a Scots word for “child”.
66. MLBer with 696 home runs : A-ROD
Baseball player Alex Rodriguez, nicknamed “A-Rod”, broke a lot of records in his career, albeit under a shroud of controversy due to his use of illegal performance-enhancing drugs. When he signed a 10-year contract with the Texas Rangers for $252 million in 2000, it was the most lucrative contract in sports history. In 2007, Rodriguez signed an even more lucrative 10-year contract with the New York Yankees, worth $275 million. Rodriguez retired in 2016.
72. Like some spore reproduction : ASEXUAL
Asexual reproduction differs from sexual reproduction in that only one parent is involved. Asexual reproduction is common among simpler organisms and some plants and fungi. Asexual reproduction is thought be useful in providing a rapid growth of a population, whereas sexual reproduction has the advantage of creating genetic diversity, hence improving the chances of adaptation to a changing environment.
Spores are produced by many bacteria, fungi and non-flowering plants. A spore is a reproductive body encased in a protective shell that is highly resistant to damage, and resistant to heat in particular.
79. Soup for toddlers? : BABY CHOWDER (from “baby powder”)
The type of soup known as “chowder” may be named for the pot in which it used to be cooked called a “chaudière”, a French term.
86. Outback native : EMU
In Australia, the land outside of urban area is referred to as “the outback” or “the bush”. That said, I think that the term “outback” can also be used for the more remote parts of the bush.
88. Grace starter : O LORD …
A “grace” is a short prayer recited before or after a meal.
90. Its PAC is the Political Victory Fund : NRA
National Rifle Association (NRA)
A Political Action Committee (PAC) is a private group that works to influence the outcome of a particular election or group of elections. Any group becomes a PAC by law when it receives or spends more than $1,000 for the purpose of influencing the outcome of an election. In 2010 the Supreme Court ruled that PACS that did not make direct contributions to candidates or parties could accept unlimited contributions. These “independent, expenditure-only committees” are commonly referred to as “super PACs”.
91. Campbell-Martin of “Martin” : TISHA
Tisha Campbell-Martin is an actress best-known for her supporting role on the HBO sitcom “Martin” that features Martin Lawrence.
97. Synthetic silk : RAYON
Rayon is a little unusual in the textile industry in that it is not truly a synthetic fiber, but nor can it be called a natural fiber. Rayon is produced from naturally occurring cellulose that is dissolved and then reformed into fibers.
104. Colombian export : EMERALDS
The mineral beryl is a source of a number of different, semi-precious stones, depending on the nature of the impurities present. Pure beryl is colorless; blue beryl is called aquamarine, and green beryl is emerald. The source of the green color is mainly chromium.
110. Necklace for a macho heartthrob? : STUD CHOKER (from “stud poker”)
Stud poker is the name given to many variants of poker, all characterized by the dealer giving each player a mix of cards face-down and face-up. The cards facing upwards are called “upcards”. The cards facing downwards are called “hole cards”, cards only visible to the individual who holds that particular hand. This gives rise to the phrase “ace in the hole”, a valuable holding that only the player with the ace is aware of.
112. Curly-tailed dog : AKITA
The Akita breed of dog is named for its point of origin, the Akita Prefecture in Japan. When Helen Keller visited Japan in 1937, she asked for and was given an Akita breed of dog, with the name of Kamikaze-go. Sadly, the dog died within a year from distemper. The following year the Japanese government officially presented Keller with a replacement dog. Supposedly Keller’s dogs were the first members of the breed to be introduced into the US.
115. MinuteClinic operator : CVS
The name of the drugstore chain CVS once stood for Consumer Value Stores, although these days the company uses the acronym to denote Convenience, Value and Service.
118. “Terrible” Russian ruler : IVAN
The Grand Prince of Moscow Ivan IV became known as Ivan the Terrible. The name “terrible” is a translation from Russian, and perhaps creates the wrong impression about the man. The Russian word is “Grozny”, which is more akin to “strict” and “powerful” rather than “cruel” or “abominable”.
119. Little bird wielding an ax? : GUITAR CHICK (from “guitar pick”)
I guess a guitar looks like an ax(e) …
122. Genesis setting : EDEN
According to the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve lived in a garden “in” Eden, with Eden being geographically located by reference to four rivers including the Tigris and the Euphrates. Some scholars hypothesize that Eden was located in Mesopotamia, which encompasses much of modern-day Iraq.
123. Like Gen. Shinseki, former Secretary of Veterans Affairs : RETD
Eric Shinseki is a retired general from the US Army who was appointed US Secretary of Veterans Affairs in 2009. Shinseki resigned from the position in 2014 at the height of a scandal involving the Veterans Health Administration. Questions were raised about substandard care in VA hospitals and the keeping of false records.
124. Forearm bones : ULNAS
The humerus is the long bone in the upper arm. The bones in the forearm are the radius and ulna. “Ulna” is the Latin word for “elbow”, and “radius” is Latin for “ray”.
127. Sailing ropes : TYES
In the nautical world, a “tye” can be either a chain or a rope and is used to hoist a spar up a mast.
1. Flix alternative : TMC
The Movie Channel is owned by Showtime, which in turn is subsidiary of CBS. The channel’s name is often abbreviated to “TMC”, although this is informal usage.
The Movie Channel is owned by Showtime, which in turn is subsidiary of CBS. The channel’s name is often abbreviated to “TMC”, although this is informal usage.
4. First African-American Best Actor : POITIER
Sidney Poitier won his only Best Actor Oscar playing the male lead in 1963’s “Lilies of the Field”. In so doing, Poitier became the first African-American male to win a competitive Academy Award.
7. Folksy Guthrie : ARLO
Arlo Guthrie is the son of Woody Guthrie. Both father and son are renowned for their singing of protest songs about social injustice. Arlo is most famous for his epic “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”, a song that lasts a full 18m 34s. In the song Guthrie tells how, after being drafted, he was rejected for service in the Vietnam War based on his criminal record. He had only one incident on his public record, a Thanksgiving Day arrest for littering and being a public nuisance when he was 18-years-old.
11. Ottoman honorific : AGHA
“Aga” (also “agha”) is a title that was used by both civil and military officials in the Ottoman Empire.
16. Go off-line? : AD LIB
Ad libitum is a Latin phrase meaning “at one’s pleasure”. In common usage the phrase is usually shortened to “ad lib”. On the stage the concept of an “ad lib” is very familiar.
24. Single-serving coffee choice : K-CUP
A K-Cup is a single-portion cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate in which the beverage is prepared in situ. K-Cup packs are used with brewing machines made by Keurig, a manufacturer of coffee brewers based in Reading, Massachusetts. Personally, I use a Nespresso machine …
30. Atkins of country : CHET
Chet Atkins was a guitarist famous for playing “smooth” country music that crossed over into the genre of lighter pop music.
34. Winery cask : TUN
A “tun” is a barrel, often a large barrel used in winemaking. The term “tun” came to be a measure of volume, originally 256 gallons of wine. The weight of such a volume of wine was referred to as a “tun”, which evolved into our contemporary unit “ton”.
36. Ground-up bait : CHUM
The word “chum” meaning fish bait, is perhaps derived from the Scottish word “chum” meaning food.
39. “Julie & Julia” director : EPHRON
Nora Ephron had many talents, including writing film scripts and novels. Many of the movies that she wrote, she also directed. These would include some of my favorite movies of all time like “Sleepless in Seattle”, “You’ve Got Mail” and most recently, the wonderful “Julie & Julia”. And, did you know that Nora Ephron’s second marriage was to journalist Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame? She wrote an autobiographical novel based on her life with Bernstein, dealing in particular with Bernstein’s affair with the daughter of British Prime Minister James Callaghan.
“Julie & Julia” is a wonderful 2009 Nora Ephron film that juxtaposes the lives of celebrity chef Julia Childs and home cook/blogger Julie Powell. Childs is played by Meryl Streep, and Powell by Amy Adams. Ephron’s screenplay is based on two nonfiction books: Child’s autobiography “My Life in France”, and Powell’s memoir “Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously”. Highly recommended …
40. Major course : ENTREE
Entrée means “entry” in French. An entrée can be something that helps one get “a way in”, an interview for example perhaps helped along by a recommendation letter. In Europe, even in English-speaking countries, the entrée is the name for the “entry” to the meal, the first course. I found it very confusing to order meals when I first came to America!
45. Ref. for wordsmiths : OED
Oxford English Dictionary (OED)
48. Stairway piece : RISER
The “riser” is the vertical part of a step in a flight of stairs.
49. They’re unlikely to pass the bar : SOTS
Our word “sot” comes from the Old English “sott”, meaning “fool”. The word “sot” started to be associated with alcohol and not just foolery in the late 1500s.
52. Slugger Mel : OTT
At 5′ 9″, baseball legend Mel Ott weighed just 170 lb (I don’t think he took steroids!) and yet he was the first National League player to hit over 500 home runs. Sadly, Ott died in a car accident in New Orleans in 1958 when he was only 49 years old.
54. Spokane-to-Edmonton dir. : NNE
Spokane, Washington is named for the Spokan people who lived in the eastern portion of Washington and northern Idaho. Back in 1974, Spokane was the smallest city ever to host a World’s Fair. The theme of the fare was “the environment”, which I suppose was ahead of its time. Notably, Expo ’74 was the first American-hosted World’s Fair attended by the Soviet Union after WWII.
Edmonton is the capital city of the Canadian province of Alberta. The city was founded as Fort Edmonton in 1795, with the name taken from the area in London called Edmonton. Edmonton, London was the home of pioneer John Peter Pruden who suggested the name. London’s Edmonton was also home for deputy governor Sir James Winter Lake of the Hudson’s Bay Company.
60. Goofy collectibles? : CELS
In the world of animation, a cel is a transparent sheet on which objects and characters are drawn. In the first half of the 20th century the sheet was actually made of celluloid, giving the “cel” its name.
The Disney character Goofy first appeared as Dippy Dawg in 1932. Goofy became famous for his “How to …” series of cartoons in the 1940s which dealt with everything from snow skiing to sleeping, and from football to riding a horse. Goofy’s last theatrical appearance was in a 2007 work called “How to Hook Up Your Home Theater”.
63. Cabinet dept. : EDUC
The largest government department in cabinet is the Department of Defense (DOD), with a permanent staff of over 600 thousand. The smallest department, by far, is the Department of Education, with a mere four or five thousand employees.
67. Game inside a Narragansett beer bottle cap : REBUS
A rebus is a puzzle that uses pictures to represent letters and groups of letters. For example, a picture of a “ewe” might represent the letter “U” or the pronoun “you”.
The Narragansett Brewing Company was founded in Rhode Island back in 1890, and for a while was the biggest-selling brand of beer in the whole of New England. If you look inside the cap of a “‘Gansett” beer bottle, you’ll see a picture puzzle, a rebus puzzle.
69. “Rabbit” series author : UPDIKE
The 1960 novel by John Updike called “Rabbit Run” tells the story of Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom as he tries to escape from his constraining, middle-class life. “Rabbit Run” is the first in a series of novels from Updike that feature the “Rabbit” character, the others being:
“Rabbit is Rich”
“Rabbit at Rest”
70. Starbuck, for one : SAILOR
The most famous whale-hunting ship in fiction has to be Herman Melville’s Pequod, featured in his novel “Moby Dick”. The young chief mate of the Pequod is named Starbuck. Starbuck’s name was lifted and used by a Seattle-based coffee company.
77. Rodeo mount : BRONC
A “bronco” (also “bronc”) is a horse that is untamed. In Mexican Spanish “bronco” is a word for “horse”, and in the original Spanish “bronco” means “rough, rude”.
81. Maker of fancy notebooks : MOLESKINE
Moleskine is a papermaking company based in Milan, Italy. Moleskine’s products include luxury stationery and associated items.
93. “Never Wave at __”: Rosalind Russell movie : A WAC
“Never Wave at a WAC” is a 1952 comedy starring Rosalind Russell. Russell plays a senator’s daughter who asks her father to get her a commission in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) so that she can be close to her boyfriend. The senator thinks that it’s a better idea for her become an enlisted soldier, so Russell’s character ends up in basic training. Hilarity ensues …
95. Screening org. : TSA
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is the agency that employs the good folks that check passengers and baggage at airports.
98. Spider woman? : ARACHNE
In Greek and Roman mythology, Arachne was a mortal woman who was a great weaver. Arachne boasted that her weaving was greater than that of the goddess Athena (or Minerva in Roman myth), and this was proven true in a contest. As a result, Arachne was turned into a spider by Athena. “Arachne” is the Greek word for spider.
100. “Java” trumpeter : AL HIRT
Al Hirt was a trumpeter and bandleader. Hirt’s most famous recordings were the song “Java” and the album “Honey in the Horn”, as well the theme song used “The Green Hornet” TV series in the sixties.
104. Name on Re-Nutriv products : ESTEE
Estée Lauder was a very successful businesswoman, with a reputation as a great salesperson. Lauder introduced her own line of fragrances in 1953, a bath oil called “Youth Dew”. “Youth Dew” was marketed as a perfume, but it was added to bathwater. All of a sudden women were pouring whole bottles of Ms. Lauder’s “perfume” into their baths while using only a drop or two of French perfumes behind their ears. That’s quite a difference in sales volume …
105. Site of the Cave of Zeus, in myth: Abbr. : MT IDA
Accounting to mythology, Zeus was born in a cave at Mount Ida, the highest peak on the island of Crete.
106. Calculus pioneer : EULER
Leonhard Euler was a brilliant Swiss mathematician and physicist, a pioneer in the fields of logarithms and graph theory.
113. “… __ a puddy tat!” : I TAW
“I tawt I taw a puddy tat!” is a famous line uttered by Tweety Bird, the yellow canary in the “Looney Tunes” and “Merrie Melodies” cartoons who is constantly stalked by various cats.
114. Merged news agency : TASS
TASS is the abbreviation used for the former news agency that had the full name Telegraph Association of the Soviet Union (Telegrafnoe Agentstvo Sovetskogo Soyuza). When the Soviet Union dissolved in 1992, the Moscow-based agency’s scope changed along with its name. It is now known as the Information Telegraph Agency of Russia (ITAR-TASS).
116. Move quickly, as clouds : SCUD
“To scud” is a move swiftly as if propelled forward. The term is often used with reference to clouds, scudding across the sky.
119. “Breaking Bad” baddie Fring : GUS
On the hit AMC television show “Breaking Bad”, the character Gus Fring is a Machiavellian drug lord who fronts his illegal activities with a successful chain of fast food restaurants called Los Pollos Hermanos. Fring is played by actor Giancarlo Esposito.