Edited by: Rich Norris
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We’re in cave full of bats today. Several down-answers are hiding the word BAT hanging upside down (i.e. TAB). We also have a STALACTITE hanging down, and a STALAGMITE growing upwards in the same answer. They meet, and so share the letter E:
- 93D. Hangout for the Dark Knight, and for creatures in the answers to starred clues : BATCAVE
- 2D. *Lots opposite : NOT A BIT
- 5D. *Be blessed by Lady Luck : GET A BREAK
- 13D. *Traveled to Europe, say : WENT ABROAD
- 38D. *Annual postseason game played in Arizona : FIESTA BOWL
- 43D. *Go all in : BET A BUNDLE
- 73D. *”Sweet Love” R&B singer : ANITA BAKER
- 81D. *Middle Eastern staple : PITA BREAD
- 20D. Rock formations that often meet in dark places, as illustrated here : STALACTIT(E)TIMGALATS
Bill’s errors: 2
- ABT (ABS)
- CORETTA (Coresta)
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Disguised, for short : INCOG
“Incog” is short for “incognito”, the Italian for “unknown”.
6. “I see” : AHSO
The slang term “ahso” is used in American English to mean “I see”. The term derives from the Japanese expression “Ah so desu ka” meaning “Oh, that’s how it is”.
13. Ham’s response : WILCO
In the world of radio telephony, “wilco” is short for “I understand and will comply”.
Amateur radio enthusiasts were originally called ham operators by professional telegraph operators, and the term was intended to be insulting. It came from the similar term “ham actor”, describing a person who is less than effective on the stage. But amateur operators eventually embraced the moniker and so it stuck.
21. Yoko from Tokyo : ONO
Yoko Ono was born into a prosperous Japanese family, and is actually a descendant of one of the emperors of Japan. Her father moved around the world for work, and she lived the first few years of her life in San Francisco. The family returned to Japan, before moving on to New York, Hanoi and back to Japan just before WWII, in time to live through the great fire-bombing of Tokyo in 1945. Immediately after the war the family was far from prosperous. While Yoko’s father was being held in a prison camp in Vietnam, her mother had to resort to begging and bartering to feed her children. When her father was repatriated, life started to return to normal and Yoko was able to attend university. She was the first woman to be accepted into the philosophy program of Gakushuin University.
22. Often harmful bacteria : E COLI
Escherichia coli (E. coli) are usually harmless bacteria found in the human gut, working away quite happily. However, there are some strains that can produce lethal toxins. These strains can make their way into the food chain from animal fecal matter that comes into contact with food designated for human consumption.
27. Like “Et tu, Brute?” : CAESAREAN
It was Shakespeare who popularized the words “Et tu, Brute?” (And you, Brutus?), in his play “Julius Caesar”, although the phrase had been around long before he penned his drama. It’s not known what Julius Caesar actually said in real life just before he was assassinated on the steps of the Senate in Rome.
31. NYC dance company : ABT
American Ballet Theatre (ABT)
33. Explorer Ponce __ : DE LEON
Juan Ponce de León was a famous Spanish explorer and conquistador. Ponce de León led the Europeans to Florida, and it was he who gave the state its name (Spanish for “Flowery Land”). He was injured on his last voyage to Florida, supposedly by a poisoned arrow, and died from his wound in Havana, Cuba.
35. Demagogue, e.g. : RANTER
A demagogue is a political leader who seeks to achieve power by appealing to the emotions and prejudices of the masses. A favored tactic of demagogues is to accuse moderate and thoughtful opponents of weakness, advocating instead immediate and often violent action. The term “demagogue” ultimately derives from Greek and can be translated as “people’s manipulator”.
38. Eponymous electrical units : FARADS
The SI unit of capacitance is the farad, a unit that is named after the physicist Michael Faraday.
Michael Faraday was a scientist from England who discovered electromagnetic induction among other things. It was Faraday who first observed that a conductor carrying an electric current has an associated magnetic field. Amazingly, the sum total of Faraday’s formal education was little more than a seven-year apprenticeship as a bookbinder and bookseller.
40. Decisive parts of some NFL games : OTS
41. Floor in la maison : ETAGE
In France, the ground floor (étage) of the house (la maison) isn’t called the first floor. It’s called the ground floor. The first floor is the floor above the ground floor.
50. __ nerve : OPTIC
The optic nerve enters the eyeball at a location on the retina called the optic disc. Because there are no light-sensitive cells at the optic disc, there is a “hole” in our visual field that is called the blind spot. People with normal vision don’t usually notice this blind spot as the brain “fills in” the blind spot with information from the other eye.
57. Korean imports : KIAS
Kia Motors is the second largest manufacturer of cars in South Korea, behind Hyundai (and Hyundai is a part owner in Kia now). In recent years, Kia has focused on sales into Europe, and has been remarkably successful.
58. “Baseball is __ percent mental. The other half is physical”: Yogi Berra : NINETY
Yogi Berra is regarded by many as the greatest catcher ever to play in Major League Baseball, and has to be America’s most celebrated “author” of malapropisms. Here are some greats:
- It ain’t over till it’s over.
- 90% of the game is half mental.
- Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.
- When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
- It’s déjà vu all over again.
- Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t go to yours.
- A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.
59. Caribbean destination : ARUBA
Aruba is one of the so-called ABC Islands. The ABC Islands is the nickname given to the three westernmost islands of the Leeward Antilles in the Caribbean. The nickname comes from the first letters of the island names: Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao. All three of the ABC Islands are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
60. Lascivious look : LEER
“Lascivious” is such an appropriate-sounding word, I always think. It means lecherous or salacious.
62. ’40s Giant manager : OTT
At 5′ 9″, 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.
63. __ Sketch : ETCH A
Etch A Sketch was introduced in 1960. The toy was developed in France by inventor André Cassagnes.
64. “Mercury” coins : DIMES
The Mercury dime was also called the Winged Liberty Head dime, and was minted from 1916 to 1945. The coin is so called because it bears the image of a young Liberty wearing a winged cap, an image that is often mistaken for the Roman god Mercury.
65. Where Tibet is : ASIA
Tibet is a plateau region that is part of China, and is located northeast of the Himalayas. Tibet declared its independence from China in 1913, but fell back under Chinese control after the Invasion of Tibet in 1951. The Tibetan leader, the 14th Dalai Lama, fled the country during the 1959 Tibetan Rebellion. Since then, he has led the Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharamsala, India.
66. U.S. global monitor : NSA
The National Security Agency (NSA) was set up in 1952 by President Truman, a replacement for the Armed Forces Security Agency that had existed in the Department of Defense since 1949. The NSA has always been clouded in secrecy and even the 1952 letter from President Truman that established the agency was kept under wraps from the public for over a generation. I really like the organization’s nickname … “No Such Agency”.
71. Young __: political reformer : TURK
In the context of the US, the Young Turks was a group of Republican politicians who split with the main party in the early sixties. The original “Young Turks” was an early 20th-century reform movement in the Ottoman Empire that favored replacement of the monarchy with a constitutional government. The term has further evolved, now applying to any insurgent group within a political party.
72. Turtle of comics and film : 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:
74. Mouthy munchkins : BRATS
“Munchkin” is a word that we use quite commonly these days, usually to describe a young child. The first Munchkins were characters created by L. Frank Baum in his book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, published in 1900.
76. The Rams of the Atlantic 10 Conf. : URI
The University of Rhode Island (URI) was first chartered as an agricultural school, back in 1888. URI’s main campus today is located in the village of Kingston.
77. Author Wiesel : ELIE
Elie Wiesel was a holocaust survivor, best known for his book “Night” that tells of his experiences in Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986.
79. Lacrosse position : GOALIE
Even though lacrosse was dropped from the Olympics after the 1908 games, it is currently enjoying a resurgence of popularity outside of North America.
80. Half-moon tide : NEAP
Tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon on the oceans. At neap tide, the smaller gravitational effect of the sun cancels out some of the moon’s effect. At spring tide, the sun and the moon’s gravitational forces act in concert causing more extreme movement of the oceans.
82. Skin coloring, briefly? : TAT
The word “tattoo” (often shortened to “tat”) was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, Cook anglicized the Tahitian word “tatau” into our “tattoo”. Tattoos are also sometimes referred to as “ink”.
83. Raw fish dish : SUSHI
Sushi is a Japanese dish that has as its primary ingredient cooked, vinegared rice. The rice is usually topped with something, most often fish, and can be served in seaweed rolls. If you want raw fish by itself, then you have to order “sashimi”.
84. Capriciously, with “on” : A WHIM
Something “capricious” is impulsive or unpredictable. The term comes into English from the Italian “capriccio” meaning “sudden start or motion”, which in turn comes from the Latin word “capreolus” meaning “wild goat”.
85. Aphrodite’s love : ADONIS
In Greek mythology, Adonis is a beautiful young god loved by Aphrodite. Adonis dies in a hunting accident (gored by a boar), but not before he gives Aphrodite a child. Adonis was originally a Phoenician god “absorbed” into Greek lore (Phoenicia is modern day Lebanon). The child born of Adonis to Aphrodite was called Beroe, after which is named Beirut, the capital city of Lebanon. We also use the term “adonis” to mean “beautiful male”.
91. Poitier title role : TIBBS
“In the Heat of the Night” is a 1967 film based on a 1965 novel of the same name by John Ball. Both tell the story of an African American detective from Philadelphia was gets involved in a murder investigation in a small town in Mississippi. The Oscar-winning film stars Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger. The most famous line in the movie is “They call me MISTER Tibbs!” This line was used as the title of a 1970 sequel, with Sidney Poitier reprising his role of police detective Virgil Tibbs.
95. Shapiro of NPR : ARI
Ari Shapiro is the very able White House correspondent for National Public Radio (NPR)
101. Big name in gaming : HARRAH
The University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) was established in 1957 as the Southern Division of the University of Nevada, Reno. One of UNLV’s flagship departments is the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration, which is consistently ranked as one of the best hotel and hospitality colleges in the nation. I suppose that’s not surprising given the proximity to the Las Vegas Strip.
102. Strauss waltz subject : DANUBE
Of the many classical composers with the Strauss name, “The Waltz King” was Johann Strauss II from Austria. Among the many beautiful waltzes that Strauss penned are “The Blue Danube” and “Tales from the Vienna Woods”. He also composed the famous operetta “Die Fledermaus”.
104. Portraitist Charles and his artist sons : PEALES
Artist Charles Willson Peale’s most famous works are portraits of historical figures from the American Revolution, most notably George Washington. Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. Peale had a lot of children, sixteen in all with two wives. Many of those children were named for his favorite artists, including Rembrandt Peale who became a celebrated artist in his own right.
105. Mars or Venus : ORB
The surface of the planet Mars has a very high iron oxide content, so Mars is red because it is rusty!
The planet Venus is the second brightest object in the night sky, after our Moon.
106. Residential ending : -ITE
For example, a Brooklynite resides in Brooklyn, and New Hampshirite lives in New Hampshire.
107. Title awarded only once to a New Englander (Connecticut, 1933) : MISS AMERICA
Marian Bergeron was the 1933 winner of the Miss America Pageant, held in Atlantic City. Bergeron was from Connecticut, and is the only New Englander to have won the contest. Also, she was only 15½ years old when she won, making her the youngest Miss America in history.
112. “Wicked Game” singer Chris : ISAAK
Chris Isaak is not only a rock musician, but also has had a lot of acting parts. Isaak had small roles in movies like “Married to the Mob” and “The Silence of the Lambs”, but I remember him as astronaut Ed White in the fabulous HBO miniseries “From the Earth to the Moon”.
115. Knighted composer : ELGAR
Sir Edward Elgar was the quintessential English composer, inextricably associated with his “Pomp and Circumstance” marches (including “Land of Hope and Glory”) and the “Enigma Variations”.
117. DDE’s VP : RMN
President Richard Milhous Nixon (RMN) used “Milhous” in his name in honor of his mother Hannah Milhous. Richard was born in a house in Yorba Linda, California. You can visit that house today as it is on the grounds of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library. It’s a really interesting way to spend a few hours if you ever get to Yorba Linda …
Future US president Eisenhower was born in Denison, Texas in 1890 and given the name David Dwight, but by the time he made it to the White House he was going by the name Dwight D. Eisenhower (DDE). Growing up, his family called him Dwight, and when “Ike” enrolled in West Point he himself reversed the order of his given names.
121. Distress letters : SOS
The combination of three dots – three dashes – three dots, is a Morse signal first introduced by the German government as a standard distress call in 1905. The sequence is remembered as the letters SOS (three dots – pause – three dashes – pause – three dots), although in the emergency signal there is no pause between the dots and dashes, so SOS is in effect only a mnemonic. Similarly, the phrases “Save Our Souls” and “Save Our Ship” are also mnemonics, introduced after the “SOS” signal was adopted.
123. Alice’s workplace : DINER
The sitcom “Alice” is set in Mel’s Diner, which is supposedly frequented by locals and truckers on the outskirts of Phoenix. There is a real Mel’s Diner in Phoenix, and the restaurant’s sign is used in the opening credits. The real-world Mel’s was called “Chris’ Diner”, but the owner agreed to a temporary change in name for the purposes of the show. But, “Chris” never came back, and “Mel’s” is still serving customers today.
3. Big name in civil rights : CORETTA
Coretta Scott King was the wife of Martin Luther King, Jr. Coretta was a civil rights leader herself, and maintained a prominent role in the movement following her husband’s 1968 assassination. She is sometimes referred to as the First Lady of the Civil Rights Movement.
6. Like the flight of a boomerang : ARCED
The complete etymology of the word “boomerang” is a little unclear, but it definitely comes from the aboriginal name for a “returning throw-stick”. We tend to be impressed by the fact boomerangs, when thrown correctly, return to the thrower. In fact, it is likely that the first returning boomerangs were developed by accident, when thousands of years ago hunters were trying to change the shape of their weapons, in order to make them fly straight!
10. “All that is or ever was or ever will be”: Sagan : COSMOS
“Cosmos: A Personal Journey” is a TV show co-written and presented by astronomer Carl Sagan. Originally airing in 1980, it was the most-watched series in the history of public television until Ken Burns started to produce his documentaries a decade later. Sagan’s opening words for the series are:
The Cosmos is all that is or was or ever will be. Our feeblest contemplations of the Cosmos stir us — there is a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation, as if a distant memory, of falling from a height. We know we are approaching the greatest of mysteries.
11. Result of a leadoff single : ONE ON
That would be baseball.
14. Former TWA owner : ICAHN
Carl Icahn has many business interests, and is probably best known in recent years for his dealings with Yahoo! Icahn has a reputation as a corporate raider, a reputation that dates back to his hostile takeover of TWA in 1985. He made a lot of money out of that deal, before being ousted in 1993 after the company filed for bankruptcy protection.
16. Red choice : CLARET
“Clairet” is a dark rosé wine. Although it is uncommon today, clairet used to be the most common wine produced in the Bordeaux region of France. For centuries now, English consumers have used the derivative term “claret” to describe all red wine from Bordeaux.
17. Edmonton skaters : OILERS
The National Hockey League’s Edmonton Oilers are so called because they are located in Alberta, Canada … oil country.
20. Rock formations that often meet in dark places, as illustrated here : STALACTIT(E)TIMGALATS
A stalactite is a mineral deposit that hangs from the roof of a cave, formed by continuous dripping of mineral-rich water. “Stalactite” comes from the Greek word “stalasso” meaning “to drip”. A stalagmite is a rock formation that rises from the floor of a cave as a result of mineral deposits dissolved in water dripping from the ceiling.
25. TV classic “__ Three Lives” : I LED
“I Led Three Lives” is TV drama series that originally aired in the 1950s, loosely based on a book by Herbert Philbrick titled “I Led Three Lives: Citizen, ‘Communist’, Counterspy”. Philbrick was a Boston advertising executive who infiltrated the Communist Party USA with the encouragement of the FBI.
28. Court matter : RES
“Res” is the Latin for “thing”. “Res” is used in a lot of phrases in the law.
30. Little pigs, e.g. : TRIO
The fairy tale of “The Three Little Pigs” has been around for centuries, although it first appeared in print in the 1840s. One little pig built a house using straw and another built one using wood. The cleverest little pig built its house using bricks.
34. Hurler’s stat : ERA
Earned run average (ERA) … in baseball.
38. *Annual postseason game played in Arizona : FIESTA BOWL
The Fiesta Bowl is a college football bowl game played every year at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona.
39. 2016 FedExCup winner McIlroy : RORY
Rory McIlroy is a very successful golfer from Northern Ireland. McIlroy is a relatively young man and a former world number one on the circuit, so folks can’t help but compare him to Tiger Woods. He is first European to win three different majors. Along with Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods, McIlroy is one of the only three people to win three majors before the age of 25.
42. Trials for aspiring D.A.’s : LSATS
The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) has been around since 1948.
44. Lemon-lime drink : SPRITE
Sprite is Coca-Cola’s answer to the very successful soft drink called 7 Up. Sprite was introduced in 1961, and Coca-Cola used its muscle to topple 7 Up from its dominant position in the market. Sprite has been the number-one selling lemon soda since 1978.
46. “The Da Vinci Code” priory : SION
The Priory of Sion is presented in the preface of Dan Brown’s novel “The Da Vinci Code” as a secret society that did in fact exist. However, there is a lot of evidence that the priory was an invention, created in forged documents in the sixties. Regardless, Dan Brown’s book is a really enjoyable read, in my humble opinion …
52. Spanish airline : IBERIA
The airline called Iberia is the flag carrier for Spain and is based in the country’s capital city at Madrid-Barajas Airport.
55. Arnaz-Ball collaboration : DESILU
As one might imagine, “Desilu” is a contraction of the names of the production company’s owners, Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball. The name “Desilu” was first given to the couple’s ranch in Chatsworth, California. Desilu the production company ended up producing some great shows, including the original “Star Trek” and “Mission: Impossible”.
56. Fishing nets : SEINES
A seine is a type of fishing net. It is long and thin, with floats along one long edge (the top) and weights along the bottom edge so that it hangs down in the water. A seine is usually paid out into the water from a boat called a seiner, as the vessel moves slowly in a circle driving fish into the center of the net.
58. Sherpa, usually : NEPALI
In the Tibetan language, “Sherpa” means “eastern people” (sher = east, pa = people). Sherpas are an ethnic group from Nepal, but the name is also used for the local guides who assist mountaineers in the Himalayas, and particularly on Mount Everest.
61. Indian dignitaries : RAJAHS
“Raja” (also “rajah”) is word derived from Sanskrit that is used particularly in India for a monarch or princely ruler. The female form is “rani” (also “ranee”) and is used for a raja’s wife.
69. Former Uh-Oh! cookies, now called Golden : OREOS
Uh-Oh! Oreo is a variant of the Oreo cookie, the reverse of the original in that the outside is made of vanilla wafers, and the filling is chocolate cream. The name was changed to Golden Chocolate Creme Oreo in 2007. Must admit, I’ve never had one …
70. Sigourney’s “Gorillas in the Mist” role : DIAN
“Gorillas in the Mist” is a 1988 film that tells the story of naturalist Dian Fossey’s work with mountain gorillas in Rwanda. The movie is based on Fossey’s 1983 book of the same name, and features Sigourney Weaver playing the lead.
Dian Fossey carried out her famous study of gorilla populations in the mountain forests of Rwanda (NB: it was Jane Goodall that worked with chimpanzees). Sadly, Fossey was found dead in her cabin in Rwanda in 1986, murdered in her bedroom, her skull split open by a machete. The crime was never solved.
73. *”Sweet Love” R&B singer : ANITA BAKER
Anita Baker is an R&B and soul singer who was raised in Detroit, Michigan. Baker’s most successful song is the Grammy-winning “Sweet Love” released in 1986.
81. *Middle Eastern staple : PITA BREAD
Pita is a lovely bread in Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. Pita is usually round, and has a “pocket” in the center. The pocket is created by steam that puffs up the dough during cooking leaving a void when the bread cools.
85. Marketing of pieces? : ARMS SALE
“Piece” is a slang term for a gun that has been around for a surprisingly long time (surprising to me, anyway). The term dates back to the 1580s.
86. Title in a Poitier title : SIR
“To Sir, with Love” is an excellent 1967 drama film starring Sidney Poitier that is based on a novel of the same name by E. R. Braithwaite. The film is about an inexperienced teacher in a tough school in the East End of London. If you see the movie keep a lookout for a couple of supporting actors. Lulu plays the student called Babs Pegg, and also sings the hit theme song from the movie. Patricia Routledge plays fellow teacher Clinty Clintridge, and later in her career played Hyacinth Bucket in the enduring BBC comedy series “Keeping Up Appearances”.
88. Tabloid twosome : ITEM
An unmarried couple known to be involved with each other might appear in the gossip columns. This appearance as “an item” in the papers, led to the use of “item” to refer to such a couple, but only since the very early seventies.
Tabloid is the trademarked name (owned by Burroughs, Wellcome and Co,) for a “small tablet of medicine”, a name that goes back to 1884. The word “tabloid” had entered into general use to mean a compressed form of anything, and by the early 1900s was used in “tabloid journalism”, applied to newspapers that had short, condensed articles and stories printed on smaller sheets of paper.
90. Spleen : IRE
“To vent one’s spleen” means to vent one’s anger, perhaps by shouting and screaming. This expression is rooted in the humoral medicine of the ancient Greeks. The Greeks believed that a person’s temperament was dictated by the balance of the body’s four “humors”. The spleen produced the humor known as yellow bile, which was associated with an aggressive and energetic personality.
93. Hangout for the Dark Knight, and for creatures in the answers to starred clues : BATCAVE
Wayne Manor is where Bruce Wayne lives, the alter-ego of Batman. It is a huge manor that lies just outside Gotham City. Looking after the house is the Wayne family servant, Alfred. Beneath the grounds of the manor is an extensive cave system where Bruce Wayne put together his Batcave. Access is to the cave is via a staircase behind a hidden door. The door is opened by moving the hands of a non-functioning grandfather clock to 10:47, the time at which Wayne’s parents were murdered. It is the murder of his parents that sets Bruce off on his journey of crime fighting.
Originally referred to as “Bat-Man” when introduced in comics in 1939, Batman is also referred to as the Caped Crusader, the Dark Knight, the World’s Greatest Detective, and along with sidekick Robin, the Dynamic Duo.
96. Fruit in a Poitier title : RAISIN
“A Raisin in the Sun” is a 1961 film starring Sidney Poitier that is based on a 1959 play of the same name by Lorraine Hansberry. The film follows the lives of an African-American family from Chicago as they struggle with the decision about what to do with an insurance payout following the death of the family’s patriarch.
101. Charlemagne’s domain: Abbr. : HRE
Charlemagne was the first king to use the title “Holy Roman Emperor”, even though the Holy Roman Empire was not actually founded until over a century later when Otto I was crowned Emperor. Otto was the first of an unbroken line of Holy Roman Emperors who ruled Central Europe until 1806.
108. Does as humans do? : ERRS
Alexander Pope’s 1709 poem “An Essay on Criticism” is the source of at least three well-known quotations:
- A little learning is a dangerous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring.
- To err is human, to forgive divine.
- For fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
110. Carbon compound : ENOL
An enol is an alkene with a hydroxyl group, sort of part-alkene and part-alcohol. The term “enol” therefore, is a portmanteau of “alkene” and “alcohol”.