Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers comprise two parts. Each of those parts can be CAPPED by (start with) the word WHITE:
- 40D…Bit of ocean chop … or, literally, what each part of 3-, 8-, 10-, 34- and 38-Down can have..WHITECAP
- 3D…Privy..OUTHOUSE (“whiteout” & “White House”)
- 8D…Home builder’s purchase..WALLBOARD (“whitewall” & “whiteboard”)
- 10D…Equine-like fish..SEAHORSE (“White Sea” & “Whitehorse”)
- 34D…Award for excellence in the field..GOLD GLOVE (“white gold” & “white-glove”)
- 38D…Fritos snack..CORN CHIP (“white corn” & “white chip”)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
The term “coleslaw” is an Anglicized version of the Dutch name “koolsla”, which in itself is a shortened form of “Koolsalade” meaning “cabbage salad”.
Something described as “run-of-the-mill” is unspectacular, quite normal. The idea is that the regular production from say a sawmill isn’t perfect, but does the job. Imperfections in the wood can be expected, but the milled wood should get the job done. Going back a few years, similar expressions were quite common, such as “run-of-the-kiln” and “run-of-the-mine”.
A “tout” (mainly in the British Isles) is someone who checks out racehorses and sells information gained to people placing bets.
Adam Opel founded his company in 1863, first making sewing machines in a cowshed. Commercial success brought new premises and a new product line in 1886, namely penny-farthing bicycles. Adam Opel died in 1895, leaving his two sons with a company that made more penny-farthings and sewing machines than any other company in the world. In 1899 the two sons partnered with a locksmith and started to make cars, but not very successfully. Two years later, the locksmith was dropped in favor of a licensing arrangement with a French car company. By 1914, Opel was the largest manufacturer of automobiles in Germany. My Dad had an Opel in the seventies, a station wagon (we’d say “estate car” in Ireland) called an Opel Kadett.
In the ranking of nobles, an earl comes above a viscount and below a marquess. The rank of earl is used in the British peerage system and is equivalent to the rank of count in other countries. Other British ranks have female forms (e.g. marquess and marchioness, viscount and viscountess), but there isn’t a female word for the rank of earl. A female given the same rank as an earl is known as a countess.
A stoop is a raised platform at the door of a house. “Stoop” came into American and Canadian English in the mid-1700s from the Dutch “stoep” meaning “flight of steps”.
26…Hebrew : Ben :: Arabic : __..IBN
In Arabic names, “ibn” is a word meaning “son of”. The words “bin” and “ben” are also used for “son of”. The word “bint” means “daughter of”. Similarly, in Hebrew “ben” is used to mean “son of”, and “bat” is used to mean “daughter of”.
27…”… that golden key / That __ the palace of eternity”: Milton..OPES
English poet John Milton wrote a masque entitled “Camus” for a Michaelmas celebration at before the newly appointed Lord President of Wales in 1634. Masques were aristocratic entertainments that included pantomime, dancing and song, and were performed by courtiers and professional actors. “Camus” is a work focused on virtue of chastity.
Yet some there be that by due steps aspire
To lay their just hands on that golden key
That opes the Palace of Eternity.
29…Alias in a landmark case..ROE
Roe v. Wade was decided in a US District Court in Texas in 1970, and reached the Supreme Court on appeal. The basic decision by the Supreme Court was that a woman’s constitutional right to privacy applied to an abortion, but that this right had to be balanced with a state’s interest in protecting an unborn child and a mother’s health. The Court further defined that the state’s interest became stronger with each trimester of a pregnancy. So, in the first trimester the woman’s right to privacy outweighed any state interest. In the second trimester the state’s interest in maternal health was deemed to be strong enough to allow state regulation of abortion for the sake of the mother. In the third trimester the viability of the fetus dictated that the state’s interest in the unborn child came into play, so states could regulate or prohibit abortions, except in cases where the mother’s life was in danger. I’m no lawyer, but that’s my understanding of the initial Supreme Court decision …
31…Unlikely replies from sycophants..NOS
A sycophant is a selfish person, one who flatters. The term comes from the Greek “sykophantes” which originally meant “one who shows the fig”. This phrase described a vulgar gesture made with the thumb and two fingers.
32…Get dolled (up)..TOG
The verb “tog”, meaning to dress up, comes from the Latin “toga”, the garment worn in Ancient Rome. “Tog” can be use as an informal word for a coat or a cloak. Back in Ireland, togs are what we call swimming shorts.
35…Atlantic and Pacific, in Monopoly: Abbr…AVES
The street names in the US version of Monopoly are locations in or around Atlantic City, New Jersey, e.g. Atlantic Avenue and Pacific Avenue.
44…Biological building block..DNA
I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that the DNA of living things is so very similar across different species. Human DNA is almost exactly the same for every individual (to the degree of 99.9%). However, those small differences are sufficient to distinguish one individual from another, and to determine whether or not individuals are close family relations.
“Veep” is a political satire sitcom on HBO that is a remake of the British show “The Thick of It”. “Veep” is set in the office of a fictional Vice President of the United States played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
46…Henry VIII’s sixth wife Catherine..PARR
Henry VIII was the English King with the most wives. Well, something rubbed off on his last wife, Catherine Parr. She was to become the English Queen with the most husbands! By the time she married Henry she had been widowed twice, and after Henry died she married once again, racking up four husbands in all.
49…Public health org…CDC
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is based in Atlanta, Georgia. The CDC started out life during WWII as the Office of National Defense Malaria Control Activities. The CDC worries about much more than malaria these days …
Fiorello La Guardia was the Mayor of New York from 1934 to 1945, racking up three full terms in office. The famous airport that bears La Guardia’s name was built at his urging, stemming from an incident that took place while he was in office. He was taking a TWA flight to “New York” and was outraged when the plane landed at Newark Airport, in the state of New Jersey. The Mayor demanded that the flight take off again and land at a small airport in Brooklyn. A gaggle of press reporters joined him on the short hop and he gave them a story, urging New Yorkers to support the construction of a new commercial airport within the city’s limits. The new airport, in Queens, opened in 1939 as New York Municipal, often called “LaGuardia” as a nickname. The airport was officially relabeled as “LaGuardia” (LGA) in 1947.
55…Brahms’ Opus 18, for one..SEXTET
Johannes Brahms was a leading German composer during the Romantic period. Brahms is one of the “Three Bs”, often grouped with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven.
A satchel is a soft-sided bag, usually with a strap that is often worn diagonally across the body. When we were kids in Ireland, we’d carry our books to and from school in a backpack satchel. All schoolchildren had a satchel.
58…Bend at a barre..PLIE
The French word for “bent” is “plié”. In the ballet move known as a plié, the knees are bent.
A “barre” is a handrail used by ballet dancers for warm-up exercises and to provide support when practicing certain moves.
Elihu Root was an American statesman, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1912 for his diplomatic work that brought “nations together through arbitration and cooperation”. Root served as Secretary of State under President Theodore Roosevelt.
60…Kentucky border river..OHIO
The Ohio river marks the boundaries of five states:
- Ohio and West Virginia
- Ohio and Kentucky
- Indiana and Kentucky
- Illinois and Kentucky
Adolph Ochs was a former owner of “The New York Times”. Ochs had purchased a controlling interest in “The Chattanooga Times” when he was only 19 years of age, and took control of “The New York Times” in 1896 when he was 38 years old. It was Ochs who moved the paper’s headquarters to a new building on Longacre Square in Manhattan, which the city later renamed to the famous “Times Square” after the newspaper. The Ochs-Sulzberger family has owned the paper ever since.
65…Samurai without a master..RONIN
In feudal Japan, a samurai who lost his master, perhaps through death or loss of favor, was known as a ronin. The term “ronin” is also used in contemporary Japan for a salaried worker between jobs.
“Veto” comes directly from Latin and means “I forbid”. The word was used by tribunes of Ancient Rome to indicate that they opposed measures passed by the Senate.
The use of “nix” as a verb, meaning “to shoot down”, dates back to the early 1900s. Before that “nix” was just a noun meaning “nothing”. “Nix” comes from the German “nichts”, which also means “nothing”.
Wailuku was the main tourist destination on Maui in the early 20th century. It lies on the north coast of the island. Most people stay at resort towns now though and there are very few hotels in Wailuku. Wailuku is also the county seat of Maui County.
The Ewoks are creatures who live on the moon of Endor, first appearing in “Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi”. They’re the cute and cuddly little guys that look like teddy bears.
The toy company Fisher-Price was founded in 1930 by Herman Fisher and Irving Price, along with Margaret Evans Price and Helen Schelle. The company’s first toy was introduced the following year, a pull-along duck named Dr. Doodle.
3…Privy..OUTHOUSE (“whiteout” & “White House”)
The White House in Washington, DC was designed by an Irishman, I am proud to say. James Hoban from County Kilkenny emigrated to the US in his twenties, and won the design competition for the White House in 1792.
4…Ore. skiing destination..MT HOOD
Mount Hood is a volcanic peak in northern Oregon. Mount Hood is the highest peak in the state, and is located about 50 miles southeast of Portland. There are six ski areas on the mountain, including a resort called Timberline that has North America’s only lift operating year-round for skiing.
Crocs are foam clogs that were originally designed as shoes to be worn at health spas.
The word “guff” has been around since the late 1800s and means “empty talk”. The term comes from the sense of a “puff of air”.
9…Salt Lake City team..UTES
The Runnin’ Utes are the basketball team of the University of Utah. The team was given the nickname the Runnin’ Redskins back when Jack Gardner was the head coach from 1953 to 1971. The “Runnin'” part of the name was chosen because Gardner was famous for playing quick offenses. The “Redskins” name was later dropped in favor of the less controversial “Utes”.
10…Equine-like fish..SEAHORSE (“White Sea” & “Whitehorse”)
Seahorses belong to the genus Hippocampus. The genus name comes from the Greek “hippo” meaning “horse” and “kampos” meaning “sea monster”. It’s the male seahorse who carries the fertilized eggs, and not the females. The region of the brain known as the hippocampus, is so called because it resembles a seahorse in shape.
The White Sea is an inlet of the Barents Sea in Russia. The major port of Archangel (“Archangelsk”) is located on the White Sea. There are four seas named for colors in English: the Yellow Sea, the Black Sea, the Red Sea and the White Sea.
Whitehorse is the capital city of Canada’s Yukon Territory. It sits at the head of the Yukon River and its location made it an important supply center during the Klondike Gold Rush.
24…Holiday song ender..SYNE
The song “Auld Lang Syne” is a staple at New Year’s Eve (well, actually in the opening minutes of New Year’s Day). The words were written by Scottish poet Robbie Burns. The literal translation of “Auld Lang Syne” is “old long since”, but is better translated as “old times”. The sentiment of the song is “for old time’s sake”.
33…Ancient source of prophecy..ORACLE
In Ancient Greece and Rome, an oracle was someone believed inspired by the gods to give wise counsel. The word “oracle” derives from the Latin “orare” meaning “to speak”, which is the same root for our word “orator”.
34…Award for excellence in the field..GOLD GLOVE (“white gold” & “white-glove”)
The Gold Glove is an annual award given by Major League Baseball to the player judged to be the best in each fielding position in a season. The award was instituted in 1957 by the baseball glove manufacturer Rawlings.
“White gold” is an alloy, made from gold and a white metal. Typically, that white metal is nickel, manganese or palladium.
Something described as “white-glove” is very meticulous, as in “white-glove service”. The term can also mean “meticulously clean, spotless”.
38…Fritos snack..CORN CHIP (“white corn” & “white chip”)
The Frito Corporation was started in 1932 by Elmer Doolin, basically in his mother’s kitchen. Doolin paid $100 for a corn chip recipe from a local restaurant and started producing Fritos at the rate of 10 pounds per day.
In the world of gambling, white chips traditionally have the lowest value. On the other hand, blue chips are the most expensive, giving us our figurative adjective “blue-chip”, as in a “blue-chip stock”.
47…Land of Arthurian legend..AVALON
Avalon is a legendary island featured in the Arthurian legends. The name Avalon probably comes from the word “afal”, the Welsh word for “apple”, reflecting the fact that the island was noted for its beautiful apples. Avalon is where King Arthur’s famous sword (Excalibur) was forged, and supposedly where Arthur was buried.
48…Eye part with rods and cones..RETINA
The retina is the tissue that lines the inside of the eye, the tissue that is light-sensitive. There are (mainly) two types of cell in the retina that are sensitive to light, called rods and cones. Rods are cells that best function in very dim light and only provide black-and-white vision. Cones on the other hand function in brighter light and can perceive color.
The cashew is the seed of the cashew tree. The pulp of the cashew tree’s fruit (the cashew apple) is also consumed, usually processed into a fruit drink or distilled as a liquor.
A hobgoblin is a mischievous spirit of folk lore. Perhaps the most famous character labeled as a hobgoblin is Puck in Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.
57…Followers of Attila..HUNS
The Huns were a nomadic people who originated in Eastern Europe in the 4th century. Under the command of Attila the Hun they developed a unified empire that stretched from modern-day Germany across to the steppes of Central Asia. The whole of the Hunnic Empire collapsed within a year of Attila’s death in 453 AD.
Midori Ito is a Japanese figure skater. Ito was the first woman to land a triple/triple jump and a triple axel in competition. In fact she landed her first triple jump in training when she was only 8 years old!
64…Incite to go after, with “on”..SIC
“Sic ’em” is an attack order given to a dog, instructing the animal to growl, bark or even bite. The term dates back to the 1830s, with “sic” being a variation of “seek”.