Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers are common phrases, but with a leading letter H replaced with a letter M:
- 22A. Check for doneness? : FEEL THE MEAT (from “feel the heat”)
- 24A. Drama written in code? : MORSE PLAY (from “horseplay”)
- 36A. President’s daily delivery? : MAIL TO THE CHIEF (from “Hail to the Chief”)
- 51A. North Pole yoga need? : SANTA MAT (from “Santa hat”)
- 67A. Iditarod trainee? : MUSH PUPPY (from “hushpuppy”)
- 81A. Ace accountant : TAX MAVEN (from “tax haven”)
- 93A. Cat’s tail, maybe? : MOUSE DETECTIVE (from “house detective”)
- 110A. Spy with a sweet tooth? : DONUT MOLE (from “donut hole”)
- 112A. Burrower servicing borrowers? : MONEY BADGER (from “honey badger”)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
5. Secretly kept in the message loop, for short : BCC’ED
A blind carbon copy (bcc) is a copy of a document or message that is sent to someone without other recipients of the message knowing about that extra copy.
10. Prior president who swore in two subsequent presidents : TAFT
William Howard Taft may have been the 27th President of the United States, but his lifelong ambition was to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. President Taft was able to realize that dream in 1921, eight years after losing his bid for re-election as president. As Chief Justice, this former US President swore in two new presidents: Calvin Coolidge (in 1925) and Herbert Hoover (in 1929). William Howard Taft is also remembered as the most obese president. In the last year of his presidency, he weighed about 340 pounds (he was 5 feet 11 inches tall). Twelve months after leaving the White House, President Taft had dropped 80 pounds and substantially lowered his blood pressure.
19. NutraSweet developer : SEARLE
NutraSweet is a brand name for the artificial sweetener aspartame. Aspartame was discovered by a chemist working for Searle in 1965, but it took 15 years for the company to be granted approval for its sale. I wonder why …???
20. Donor drive target : ALUM
An “alumnus” (plural … alumni) is a graduate or former student of a school or college. The female form is “alumna” (plural … alumnae). The term comes into English from Latin, in which alumnus means foster-son or pupil. “Alum” is an informal term used for either an alumna or an alumnus.
21. Penne __ vodka : ALLA
Penne alla vodka is a pasta dish with a sauce made of vodka, cream, tomatoes, onions and sausage or bacon.
24. Drama written in code? : MORSE PLAY (from “horseplay”)
Samuel Morse came up with the forerunner to modern Morse code for use on the electric telegraph, of which he was the co-inventor. Morse code uses a series of dots and dashes to represent letters and numbers. The most common letters are assigned the simplest code elements e.g. E is represented by one dot, and T is represented by one dash. When words are spelled aloud in Morse code, a dot is pronounced as “dit”, and a dash is pronounced as “dah”.
26. Tylenol result, ideally : RELIEF
Tylenol is pain relieving drug with the active ingredient acetaminophen (which is known as paracetamol outside of the US).
27. Juice-and-fish-broth product : CLAMATO
Clamato is a drink made by Mott’s that is a blend of tomato juice and clam broth flavored with spices.The drink is intended to be reminiscent of Manhattan-style clam chowder.
29. Weather Channel concern : STORM
The Weather Channel opened for business in 1982 and has been broadcasting weather forecasts and weather-related news stories 24 hours a day since then.
30. Brown on a shelf : DAN
Dan Brown is a somewhat controversial author, best known for his 2003 novel “The Da Vinci Code”. I’ve read all of Brown’s books and must say that his early ones were awful. Having said that I loved “Angels and Demons”, and found “The Da Vinci Code” to be a great read.
31. USC, for one : SCH
The University of Southern California (USC) is a private school in Los Angeles. Apart from its excellent academic record, USC is known the success of its athletic program. USC athletes have won more Olympic medals than the students of any other university in the world. The USC marching band is very famous as well, and is known as the “Spirit of Troy”. The band has performed with many celebrities, and is the only college band to have two platinum records.
33. Like most cheeseburgers : CALORIC
The word is that you can buy a cheeseburger for $666 from a food truck called 666 Burger in New York City. It’s a burger wrapped in gold leaf and topped with lobster, caviar, truffles, foie gras, and aged gruyere cheese melted with steam from champagne poured onto a hot griddle.
36. President’s daily delivery? : MAIL TO THE CHIEF (from “Hail to the Chief”)
“Hail to the Chief” was first published in 1812 as “March and Chorus in the Dramatic Romance of the Lady of the Lake”. The lyrics are from Sir Walter Scott’s poem “The Lady of the Lake”, and the music was written by a songwriter called James Sanderson. Today, “Hail to the Chief” is the official Presidential Anthem of the US.
40. Poppycock : ROT
It is thought that the relatively gentle term “poppycock”, meaning “nonsense”, comes from a Dutch word for “dung” combined with a Latin word for “excrete”. Not so gentle after all …
42. IMF division?: Abbr. : INTL
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was established at the end of 1945 with 29 major economies supporting and funding an effort to stabilize economies across the globe after WWII. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., today the IMF has 187 member countries.
43. Vintage vehicle : REO
The REO Motor Company was founded by Ransom Eli Olds (hence the name REO). The company made cars, trucks and buses, and was in business from 1905 to 1975 in Lansing, Michigan. Among the company’s most famous models were the REO Royale and the REO Flying Cloud.
45. Bronco’s bailiwick : CORRAL
“Corral” is the Spanish word for an enclosure for livestock, and is a word we’ve imported into English. Ultimately, the term comes from the Vulgar Latin “currale” meaning “enclosure for carts”, itself coming from “currus”, the Latin for “cart”.
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”.
“Bailiwick” is a word dating back to the mid-1600s, and originally meant the “district of a bailiff”.
48. “The Simpsons” disco devotee : STU
On “The Simpsons”, the character of Disco Stu is voiced by Hank Azaria, although he was voiced for a while by Phil Hartman. Disco Stu is described as “a black, wrinkly John Travolta”.
51. North Pole yoga need? : SANTA MAT (from “Santa hat”)
The Santa Claus with whom we are familiar today largely comes from the description in the 1823 poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas”, and from the 1863 caricature created by the political cartoonist Thomas Nast. Nast is also responsible for locating Santa’s workshop at the North Magnetic Pole, a fact that he revealed to the world in a series of drawings in 1879.
53. Universe of Energy locale : EPCOT
EPCOT Center (now just called “Epcot”) is the theme park beside Walt Disney World in Florida. EPCOT is an acronym standing for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, and is a representation of the future as envisioned by Walt Disney. Walt Disney actually wanted to build a living community for 20,000 residents at EPCOT, but he passed away without that vision being realized.
58. Preventative power : VETO
“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.
62. The end of its name is also its natl. airline : UAE
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven emirates (states) in the Middle East. Included in the seven are Abu Dhabi and Dubai, with the city of Abu Dhabi being the UAE capital and cultural center.
Emirates is the largest airline in the Middle East, and operates out of Dubai International Airport in the United Arab Emirates. Emirates has exclusive use of Dubai Airport’s Terminal 3, which was opened in 2008 and is the second largest building in the world by floor space (after the New Century Global Center in Chengdu, China).
63. Scout rider : TONTO
Famously, the Lone Ranger’s horse was called Silver and Tonto’s mount was named Scout. In the earlier shows, Tonto rode a horse called White Feller.
64. Yoga position : ASANA
“Asana” is a Sanskrit word literally meaning “sitting down”. The asanas are the poses that a practitioner of yoga assumes. The most famous is the lotus position, the cross-legged pose called “padmasana”.
67. Iditarod trainee? : MUSH PUPPY (from “hushpuppy”)
“Mushing” is the use of one or more dogs to pull a sled. “Mush” is thought to come from the French “marche” meaning “go, run”.
The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race covers an incredible 1,161 miles, from Anchorage to Nome in Alaska. The race starts every year on the first Saturday in March, with the first race having been held in 1973. The fastest finishing time was set in 2002 at just under 9 days. The first few races only used a northern route, but then a southern route was added to the roster every second year. It’s kind of a good thing, because when the racers take the northern route they don’t even pass through the town of Iditarod!
69. Mayflower notable : ALDEN
John Alden is said to have been the first person to disembark from the Mayflower and to have set foot on Plymouth Rock in 1620. Alden himself was not a Pilgrim as such, and was a carpenter working on the Mayflower before it sailed. He apparently decided to travel with the ship at the last minute, perhaps in pursuit of the passenger who would become his wife, Priscilla Mullens. Alden ended up in a love triangle with Priscilla and Captain Miles Standish, a relationship which is recounted in the Longfellow poem “The Courtship of Miles Standish”. John and Priscilla were the parents of a son, John Alden, who was later to be accused during the Salem witch trials.
71. The __ Store : UPS
The franchised UPS Stores make up the world’s largest network of retail shipping, printing and business service centers. The first such outlets were branded and owned by Mail Boxes Etc., starting in 1980. UPS acquired Mail Boxes Etc. in 2001, and introduced the UPS Store brand in 2003. I’m a big fan …
75. Plants of immortality, to ancient Egyptians : ALOES
Aloe vera has a number of alternate names that are descriptive of its efficacy as a medicine. Ancient Egyptians knew it as the plant of immortality, and Native Americans called it the wand of heaven.
77. God in the Vatican : DIO
“Dio” is Italian for “god”.
Vatican City is a sovereign city-state that is walled off within the city of Rome. Vatican City is about 110 acres in area, and so is the smallest independent state in the world. With about 800 residents, it is also the smallest state in terms of population. Although the Holy See dates back to early Christianity, Vatican City only came into being in 1929. At that time, Prime Minister Benito Mussolini signed a treaty with the Holy See on behalf of the Kingdom of Italy that established the city-state.
78. SeaWorld performer : SHAMU
Shamu was the name of the third orca (aka “killer whale”) ever to be featured in a public exhibition. Shamu starred in a popular SeaWorld show in San Diego in the sixties. After she died in 1971, her name lived on as the name “Shamu” is still used by SeaWorld for its killer whale shows. That original Shamu was retired after she grabbed and refused to let go of the leg of one of her trainers.
81. Ace accountant : TAX MAVEN (from “tax haven”)
I’ve always loved the word “maven”, another word for an expert. Maven comes into English from the Yiddish “meyvn” meaning someone who appreciates and is a connoisseur.
83. Lab gel : AGAR
Agar (also “agar-agar”) is a jelly extracted from seaweed that has many uses. Agar is found in Japanese desserts, and can also be used as a food thickener or even as a laxative. In the world of science it is the most common medium used for growing bacteria in Petri dishes.
85. Grafton’s “__ for Burglar” : B IS
Sue Grafton writes detective novels, and her “alphabet series” features the private investigator Kinsey Millhone. She started off with “A Is for Alibi” in 1982 and is working her way through the alphabet. Apparently Ms. Grafton has already decided that “Z is for Zero” will be the final title in the series. What a clever naming system!
86. Usually single-stranded molecule : 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.
88. Twists, e.g. : DANCES
The Twist is a dance that was born in the sixties, inspired by the Chubby Checker hit of 1960 called “The Twist”. Chubby Checker sang the song live in front of a crowd in Deland, Florida in October 2012. About 40,000 people danced along to the music, setting a new Guinness World Record for the most people “twisting” at the same time.
92. Sun. speech : SER
Our word “sermon” comes from the Latin “sermonem” meaning “discourse, talk”. The literal translation of “sermonem” is “a stringing together of words”, from the Latin “serere” meaning “to join”, as in the related word “series”.
99. Rulers in a line : DYNASTS
A “dynast” is someone who rules by virtue of heredity.
102. Tolkien monster : ORC
Orcs are mythical humanoid creatures that appear in the writings of J. R. R. Tolkien. Since Tolkien’s use of orcs, they have also been featured in other fantasy fiction and in fantasy games.
103. Taste enhanced by shrimp paste : UMAMI
Umami is one of the five basic tastes, along with sweet, sour, bitter and salty. “Umami” is a Japanese word used to describe “a pleasant savory taste”. Umami was proposed as a basic taste in 1908, but it wasn’t until 1985 that the scientific community finally accepted it as such.
112. Burrower servicing borrowers? : MONEY BADGER (from “honey badger”)
The honey badger is found in most of Africa, as well as other parts of the world. It is also called a “ratel”, which is the Afrikaans word for the little beast.
115. Sea once home to 1,100-plus islands : 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 …
116. Dell operator : USER
Dell, the computer manufacturer, is named after the company’s founder Michael Dell. Michael Dell started his company in his dorm room at college, shipping personal computers that were customized to the specific needs of his customers. He dropped out of school in order to focus on his growing business, a decision that I doubt he regrets. Michael Dell is now one of the richest people in the world.
118. Milan moolah : EURO
The reverse side of euro coins feature a common design, a design that includes the 12-stars featured on the Flag of Europe. The number of stars is not related to the number of states in the European Union, nor has it ever been. The number of stars in the design was the subject of much debate prior to its adoption in 1955 by the Council of Europe. Twelve was a deliberate choice, as at that time there was no political connotation, and twelve was considered to be a symbol of unity.
Milan is Italy’s second largest city, second only to Rome. Milan is a European fashion capital, the headquarters for the big Italian fashion houses of Valentino, Gucci, Versace, Armani, Prada and others. Mario Prada was even born in Milan, and helped establish the city’s reputation in the world of fashion.
119. Bear’s advice : SELL
The terms “bull” and “bear” markets come from the way in which each animal attacks. A bull thrusts his horns upwards (an “up” market), whereas a bear swipes with his paws downward (a “down” market).
121. Big Pharma dept. : R AND D
Research and Development (R&D)
Big Pharma is the nickname for the pharmaceutical industry. The nickname comes from the acronym for the lobbying group for the industry, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).
1. Sharable doc format : PDF
Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format introduced by Adobe Systems in 1993. PDF documents can be shared between users and read using many different applications, making them more universally accessible than documents saved by one particular program.
7. Exhibit with a baby : CRECHE
In the Christian tradition, a nativity scene (also “crèche”) is a display of representing the the scene of the birth of Jesus. Nativity scenes might be subjects for paintings, for example, although the term is usually used for seasonal displays associated with the Christmas season.
8. Its logo contains Hebrew letters : EL AL
El Al Israel Airlines is the flag carrier of Israel. The term “el al” translates from Hebrew as “to the skies”. The company started operations in 1948, with a flight from Geneva to Tel Aviv.
10. Wrapped Mexican fare : TAMALES
A tamale is a traditional dish from Central America composed of a starchy dough that is steamed or boiled in a wrapper made from a corn husk or banana leaf. The dough is called masa, and can include many different ingredients including meat, cheese fruit and vegetables.
13. Corp. symbols : TMS
14. Mesmerized : RAPT
Franz Mesmer was a German physician, the person who coined the phrase “animal magnetism”. Back then the term described a purported magnetic field that resided in the bodies of animate beings. Mesmer also lent his name to our term “mesmerize”.
16. Limerick neighbor : CLARE
One of my favorite counties in Ireland is Clare. Clare is home of the Burren, a beautiful and desolate landscape, as well as the world-famous Cliffs of Moher that greet the Atlantic Ocean.
19. Pronoun for a skiff : SHE
A skiff is small boat. The name can be used generically and applied to several unrelated styles of vessel, as long as they are relatively small. The term “skiff” comes from “scif”, the Old High German word for “boat” and a term that also gave us our word “ship”.
32. John of “Star Trek” (2009) : CHO
John Cho is an actor and musician who was born in Seoul, South Korea but who has lived in the US since he was a young boy. Cho’s break in movies came in playing Harold Lee in the ”Harold & Kumar” films. He is now making a name for himself playing Mr. Sulu in the latest “Star Trek” movies.
41. John of “Hairspray” (2007) : TRAVOLTA
The actor, dancer and singer John Travolta got his first break playing student Vinnie Barbarino in the sitcom “Welcome Back, Kotter” in the seventies. While still on the TV show, Travolta showed off his dancing skills on two fabulous musical films: “Saturday Night Fever” (1977) and “Grease” (1978). His career then took a bit of dip, before resurging again with his role in the 1994 Quentin Tarantino blockbuster “Pulp Fiction”.
“Hairspray” is a 1988 musical comedy movie written and directed by the zany John Waters. The film had a lukewarm reception when it opened, but it spawned an extremely successful franchise. A Broadway musical of the same name opened in 2002, which won the Best Musical Tony Award in 2003. The film was remade in 2007.
46. Change, as a will : AMEND
The verb “to amend” means “to change for the better, put right, alter by adding”. The related verb “to emend” is used more rarely and mainly in reference to the editing of professional writing. Both terms are derived from the Latin “emendare” meaning “to remove fault”.
47. Foamy eye-opener : LATTE
The term “latte” is an abbreviation of the Italian “caffelatte” meaning “coffee (and) milk”. Note that in the correct spelling of “latte”, the Italian word for milk, there is no accent over the “e”. An accent is often added by mistake when we use the word in English, perhaps meaning to suggest that the word is French.
49. First name in virology : JONAS
Jonas Salk was an American medical researcher, famous for developing the first safe polio vaccine. In the fifties, especially after the 1952 epidemic, polio was the biggest health fear in the US because it killed thousands, left even more with disabilities and most of the victims were children. The situation was dire and the authorities immediately quarantined the family of any polio victim, and that quarantine was so strict that in many cases the families were not even permitted to attend the funeral of a family member who died from the disease.
50. Mop tamer : MOUSSE
Our word “mousse” is an Old French term meaning “froth”.
51. Acknowledge the general : SNAP TO
Snap to attention.
52. Tom or Jerry : TOON
“Tom and Jerry” is a series of cartoons produced by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera starting in 1940. These short films feature Tom Cat and Jerry Mouse, who are always going at it with Jerry usually emerging victorious.
57. Live-in nanny : AU PAIR
An au pair is a domestic assistant from a foreign country working and living as part of a host family. The term “au pair” is French, and means “on a par”, indicating that an au pair is treated as an equal in the host family.
61. LaserJet printers : HPS
HP’s LaserJet was the world’s first desktop laser printer.
The key features of a laser printer (or copier) are that it uses plain paper and produces quality text at high speed. Laser printers work by projecting a laser image of the printed page onto a rotating drum that is coated with photoconductors (material that becomes conductive when exposed to light). The areas of the drum exposed to the laser carry a different charge than the unexposed areas. Dry ink (toner) sticks to the exposed areas due to electrostatic charge. The toner is then transferred to paper by contact and is fused into the paper by the application of heat. So, that explains why paper coming out of a laser printer is warm, and sometimes powdery.
63. Dash gauges : TACHS
The tachometer takes its name from the Greek word “tachos” meaning “speed”. A tachometer measures engine revolutions per minute (rpm).
Back in the 1800s, “dashboard” was the name given to a board placed at the front of a carriage to stop mud from “dashing” against the passengers in the carriage, mud that was kicked up by the hoofs of the horses. Quite interesting …
66. Siri’s Amazon counterpart : ALEXA
Amazon’s Alexa is a personal assistant application that is most associated with the Amazon Echo smart speaker. Apparently, one reason the name “Alexa” was chosen is because it might remind one of the Library of Alexandria, the “keeper of all knowledge”.
67. Grand Canyon rentals : MULES
A hinny is the offspring of a male horse (the “h-” from h-orse) and a female donkey/ass (the “-nny” from je-nny). A mule is more common, and is the offspring of a female horse and male donkey/ass.
The wild donkey that we know as a burro was introduced into the Grand Canyon in the late 1800s, where they used the animal to help pack out mined copper, asbestos and lead. When the miners moved on, they left the burros to roam free. Feral burros essentially overran the Grand Canyon in subsequent years, leading to the forced removal of 500 of them in the early eighties by the National Park Service. Burros wreak havoc on the canyon’s ecosystem, and in particular compete with native bighorn sheep. The bighorn sheep population has rebounded since the number of wild donkeys has dropped.
75. Big name in labels : AVERY
Avery Dennison Corporation was founded as Kum Kleen Products in 1935, by R. Stanton Avery. Kum Kleen Products were the first manufacturers of self-adhesive labels.
84. Filmy fabric : GOSSAMER
Something described as “gossamer” is light, delicate or flimsy. The term arose in the 1400s when it described spider webs that had been spun in harvested fields in the late fall. It is suggested that “gossamer” comes from “gos” (goose) and “sumer” (summer), the idea being that the silky spider webs resemble goose down, and goose were more commonly seen in the summer. Sounds like a stretch to me …
90. Floral ring : LEI
“Lei” is the Hawaiian word for “garland, wreath”, although in more general terms a “lei” is any series of objects strung together as an adornment for the body.
94. Yoplait competitor : DANNON
Danone is a French company that sells a wide range of food products, as well as bottled water. Here in the US Danone sells under the brand name “Dannon”. Examples of Danone products are Evian bottled water and Activia yogurt.
95. Cuba libre ingredient : COLA
The cocktail known as a Cuba libre is basically a rum and Coke, although the traditional recipe calls for some lime juice as well.
96. Biblical backstabber : JUDAS
A “judas” is a treacherous person, and a term derived from the disciple named Judas Iscariot. Judas was paid thirty pieces of silver to identify Jesus so that he could be arrested. He did so with a kiss, at which point he was taken by the soldiers of the High Priest Caiaphas and handed over to Pontius Pilate, the prefect of the Roman province of Judea.
106. Arco de Constantino locale : ROMA
The Arch of Constantine in Rome was the inspiration for subsequent structures built around the world, including the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, Marble Arch in London and the main facade of Union Station in Washington, D.C.
108. Versatile NFL defenders : LBS
In the world of football, a linebacker (LB) is a member of the defensive team who lines up a few yards behind the line of scrimmage.
109. “Nebraska” Oscar nominee : DERN
Bruce Dern is a Hollywood actor with quite a pedigree. Dern is the grandchild of former Utah governor and Secretary of War, George Henry Dern. Bruce’s godparents were Adlai Stevenson and Eleanor Roosevelt!
“Nebraska” is a really interesting 2013 movie starring Bruce Dern as an elderly man who heads to Lincoln, Nebraska to collect a million-dollar sweepstakes prize that is clearly a scam. This one is filmed in black & white, which adds to the mood nicely. I note that a local movie theater here did a one-day showing of a color version.
111. Tight-lipped : MUM
The phrase “mum’s the word” has been around since the early 1700s. “Mum” has been used to mean “silent” for centuries, the idea being that “mum” is the sound made when the lips are tightly sealed.
113. Weather-sensitive airport stat : ETD
Estimated time of departure (ETD)
114. Mythical bird : ROC
The mythical roc is a huge bird of prey, reputedly able to carry off and eat elephants. The roc was said to come from the Indian subcontinent. The supposed existence of the roc was promulgated by Marco Polo in the accounts that he published of his travels through Asia.