Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers comprise two words. The second word is the same as the first, but with a consonant doubled:
- 20A. Pilfered German fruit bread? : STOLEN STOLLEN
- 32A. Evidence of Russia’s currency collapse? : RUBLE RUBBLE
- 42A. “Mister Ed” dot? : TITLE TITTLE
- 54A. Final course in the Sahara? : DESERT DESSERT
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Cartoonist Addams : CHAS
Chas Addams was a cartoonist. Addams didn’t draw a cartoon strip but rather individual cartoons, although many of his cartoons did feature regular characters. His most famous characters were the members of the Addams Family, who were published in single-panel cartoons between 1938 and 1988 in “The New Yorker”. The Addams Family moved onto the small and big screens starting in 1964.
14. ___-poly : ROLY
The term “roly-poly” applies to several things, including a game in which a ball is “rolled” into holes on a board or table. A roly-poly is also cake-like dessert made from dough that has been spread out flat and then rolled up into the shape of a cylinder.
15. French painter of café scenes : MANET
Édouard Manet was a French painter whose works are mainly classified as Realist. Manet was friends with Impressionists masters like Edgar Degas, Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir and greatly influenced the Impressionist movement. The list of Manet’s marvelous paintings includes “Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe”, “Le Repose” and “A Bar at the Folies-Bergère”.
16. Smallest American coin : DIME
The term “dime”, used for a 10-cent coin, comes from the Old French word “disme” meaning “tenth part”.
17. Mil. no-show : AWOL
The Military Police (MPs) often track down personnel who go AWOL (absent without leave).
18. “Fear of Flying” author Jong : ERICA
The author Erica Jong’s most famous work is her first: “Fear of Flying”, a novel published in 1973. Over twenty years later, Jong wrote “Fear of Fifty: a midlife memoir”, published in 1994.
19. Herr’s home : HAUS
In Germany, a “Mr.” (Herr) is married to a “Mrs.” (Frau), and they live together in a house (Haus).
20. Pilfered German fruit bread? : STOLEN STOLLEN
“Stollen” is a lovely fruit bread made with dried fruit, nuts and spices. The bread is especially popular at Christmas, when it is called “Weihnachtsstollen” (referring to Christmas Eve) and “Christstollen” (referring to Christ).
32. Evidence of Russia’s currency collapse? : RUBLE RUBBLE
The ruble (also “rouble”) is the unit of currency in Russia, as well as several other countries of the former Soviet Union. One ruble is divided into one hundred kopecks (also “kopeks”).
37. Sch. in Charlottesville : UVA
The University of Virginia (UVA) was founded by Thomas Jefferson, who sat on the original Board of Visitors alongside former US Presidents James Madison and James Monroe. In fact, the original UVA campus was built on land near Charlottesville that was once a farm belonging to President Monroe.
42. “Mister Ed” dot? : TITLE TITTLE
A “tittle” is a small diacritical mark used in writing, such as a cedilla or tilde used in some languages, or the dot over the lowercase letters i and j in English.
The sitcom “Mister Ed” first aired in 1961 and ran for almost five years. It was a very successful show (and even made it to Ireland!). Mister Ed, the talking horse, was a palomino that had the real name of Bamboo Harvester. Mister Ed’s “voice” was that of actor Allan “Rocky” Lane, a star of a lot of B-movie westerns from the forties and fifties. In the show, Mister Ed would only talk to the lead (human) character Wilbur, played by Alan Young, leading to some hilarious situations. Mister Ed had a stunt double and stand-in for the show, another horse called Pumpkin. Pumpkin later made frequent appearances on the show “Green Acres”.
46. Cotton thread : LISLE
Lisle is a cotton fabric that has been through an extra process at the end of its manufacture that burns off lint and the ends of fibers leaving the fabric very smooth and with a clean edge.
47. Tortoni’s cousin : SPUMONE
Spumone (plural “spumoni”) is an Italian dessert, one made with a mixture of three ice cream flavors and containing candied fruit and nuts.
Biscuit Tortoni is an ice cream dessert made with eggs and heavy cream and usually enhanced with a couple of teaspoons of rum. “Tortoni” was apparently an 18th century owner of an Italian café in Paris.
50. Pentathlon blades : EPEES
The original pentathlon of the ancient Olympic games consisted of a foot race, wrestling, long jump, javelin and discus. When a new pentathlon was created as a sport for the modern Olympic Games, it was given the name the “modern pentathlon”. First introduced in 1912, the modern pentathlon consists of:
- pistol shooting
- épée fencing
- 200m freestyle swimming
- show jumping
- 3 km cross-country running
54. Final course in the Sahara? : DESERT DESSERT
The name “Sahara” means “greatest desert” in Arabic and it is just that, a great desert covering almost 4 million square miles of Northern Africa. That’s almost the size of the United States.
58. B-movie safecracker : YEGG
“Yegg” is a slang word for a burglar and often for a safe-cracker. The origin of the term appears to be unknown.
62. Length times width : AREA
The area of a rectangle is its length multiplied by its width.
63. Infamous skater Harding : TONYA
Tonya Harding won the US Figure Skating Championships in 1991. Harding’s reputation was greatly tarnished in the run up to the 1994 Olympics, when her former husband and her bodyguard contracted someone to attack Harding’s main competitor, Nancy Kerrigan. During a practice session for the US Championship, a hired thug assaulted Kerrigan with police baton, attempting to break her leg. Kerrigan was forced to withdraw, and Harding won the championship. Both Harding and Kerrigan were selected for the Olympic team, and despite attempts to get Harding removed, both skated at the Games in Lillehammer. Harding finished in eighth place, and Kerrigan won the silver medal. Harding admitted that she helped cover up the attack when she found out about it, and was stripped of her US Championship title.
64. Hall of Fame catcher Carlton : FISK
Carlton “Pudge” Fisk is a retired professional baseball player. Fisk played for both the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago White Sox.
66. After-lunch sandwiches : OREOS
The Oreo was the best-selling cookie in the 20th century, and almost 500 billion of them have been sold since they were introduced in 1912 by Nabisco. In those early days the creme filling was made with pork fat, but today vegetable oils are used instead. If you take a bite out of an Oreo sold outside of America you might notice a difference from the homegrown cookie, as coconut oil is added in the overseas version to give a different taste.
4. One of two in seven : SYLLABLE
There are two syllables in the word “seven”.
5. Chorus from the pews : AMEN!
A pew is a bench in a church, usually with a high back. The original pews were raised and sometimes enclosed seats in the church used by women and important men or families. “Pew” comes from the Old French “puie” meaning “balcony, elevation”.
6. Some “Wheel” prizes : CARS
Contestants have been spinning the “Wheel of Fortune” since the game show first aired in 1975.
8. Fake drake, say : DECOY
A male duck is called a “drake” and a female duck is called a “duck”, or sometimes a “hen”.
12. Rhea’s Aussie relative : EMU
The emu has had a tough time in Australia since man settled there. There was even an “Emu War” in Western Australia in 1932 when migrating emus competed with livestock for water and food. Soldiers were sent in and used machine guns in an unsuccessful attempt to drive off the “invading force”. The emus were clever, breaking their usual formations and adopting guerrilla tactics, operating as smaller units. After 50 days of “war”, the military withdrew. Subsequent requests for military help for the farmers were ignored. The emus had emerged victorious …
The rhea is a flightless bird native to South America. The rhea takes its name from the Greek titan Rhea, an apt name for a flightless bird as “rhea” comes from the Greek word meaning “ground”.
13. Hôtel __ Invalides: Paris landmark : DES
The Hôtel des Invalides is a building complex in Paris that was opened in the 1600s as a home and hospital for unwell and aged soldiers. Today, the complex includes several museums and monuments that relate to France’s military history. The magnificent former chapel known as the Dôme des Invalides houses several tombs, and is most notably the final resting place of Napoleon Bonaparte.
21. Author __ Stanley Gardner : ERLE
I must have read all of the “Perry Mason” books when I was in college. I think they kept me sane when I was facing the pressure of exams. Author Erle Stanley Gardner was himself a lawyer, although he didn’t get into the profession the easy way. Gardner went to law school, but got himself suspended after a month. So, he became a self-taught attorney and opened his own law office in Merced, California. Understandably, he gave up the law once his novels became successful.
25. Part of USNA : NAVAL
The United States Naval Academy (USNA) is located in Annapolis, Maryland. The USNA was founded in 1845 and educates officers for both the US Navy and the US Marine Corps. The motto of the USNA is “Ex Scientia Tridens”, which translates as “From Knowledge, Sea Power”.
32. Hayworth and Rudner : RITAS
Rita Hayworth was born in Brooklyn as Margarita Carmen Cansino. Her father was a flamenco dancer from Spain and so his daughter fell naturally into dancing. The family moved to Hollywood where Hayworth’s father set up a dance studio, and there worked with the likes of James Cagney and Jean Harlow. The young Hayworth had a slow start in movies, finding herself typecast because of her Mediterranean features. When she underwent extensive electrolysis to change her forehead and dyed her hair red, she started to get more work (how sad is that?). In 1941 she posed for that famous pin-up picture which accompanied GIs all over the world.
Rita Rudner is a very funny comedian from Miami, Florida. For over ten years now, Rudner has been performing almost exclusively in Las Vegas.
33. Seize illegally : USURP
“To usurp” is to seize and hold by force, say the power or authority of a ruler. The term “usurp” comes to us from Latin via French, from “usus” (a use) and “rapere” (to seize).
35. Matzo __: Jewish egg dish : BREI
Matzah brei (translated as “fried matzah”) is a traditional Jewish dish made from matzo fried with eggs.
Matzo is a unleavened bread, that is very brittle. The bread is crushed, creating Matzo meal that is then formed into balls using eggs and oil as a binder. The balls are usually served in a chicken stock.
36. Back muscles, in the gym : LATS
The muscles known as the “lats” are the latissimi dorsi, the broadest muscles in the back. “Latissimus” is the Latin for “broadest” and “dorsum” is Latin for “back”.
42. Dance floor units : TWOS
It does indeed take two to tango.
43. Sights in la Méditerranée : ILES
In French, the Mediterranean (la Méditerranée) is a sea (mer) containing “îles” (islands).
45. Pricey watches : OMEGAS
Omega is a manufacturer of high-end watches based in Switzerland. An Omega watch was the first portable timepiece to make it to the moon.
49. Mistake in the field : ERROR
That would be a baseball field.
52. Dadaist Max : ERNST
Max Ernst was a painter and sculptor, a pioneer in the Dada movement and Surrealism. Ernst was born near Cologne in Germany in 1891 and he was called up to fight in WWI, as were most young German men at that time. In his autobiography he writes “Max Ernst died the 1st of August, 1914” a statement about his experiences in the war. In reality, Ernst died in 1976 having lived to the ripe old age of 85.
56. Belafonte classic : DAY-O
“Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)” is a traditional folk song from Jamaica. It is sung from the standpoint of dock workers unloading boats on the night shift, so daylight has come, and they want to go home. The most famous version of “Day-O” was recorded by Harry Belafonte, in 1956.
The singer and actor Harry Belafonte is of Caribbean descent, from Jamaica through his mother’s heritage, and from Martinique through his father. Born in New York City, Belafonte came to be known as the “King of Calypso”. His most famous recording is 1956’s “The Banana Boat Song”, and I suspect that his most famous movie performance is in Otto Preminger’s “Carmen Jones”.
57. Gaslight and Big Band : ERAS
The first US city to use gas streetlights was Baltimore, in 1816. The first private residence to be use gas illumination was in Philadelphia. The proliferation of gas lighting was largely driven by economics, as gaslight cost about 75$ less than oil lamps or candles. Gas lighting was also brighter and cleaner.
58. Deviate from a course : YAW
The word “yaw” means to deviate from the line of a course and is used mainly at sea. “Yaw” is derived from the Old Norse word “jaege” which means “to drive, chase”. As such, “yaw” is etymologically related to our word “yacht”.