Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers are in the down-direction. The BOTTOM of each themed answer is a type of SHEET:
- 25D. Bed cover … or, literally, what the end of each answer to a starred clue is : BOTTOM SHEET
- 3D. *”Regarding the subject at hand … ” : ON THAT SCORE … (giving “scoresheet”)
- 19D. *Like leisure suits and Nehru jackets : OUT OF STYLE (giving “style sheet”)
- 21D. *Nike competitor : NEW BALANCE (giving “balance sheet”)
- 24D. *Major-league : BIG-TIME (giving “time sheet”)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Wall St. debuts : IPOS
An Initial Public Offering (IPO) is the very first offer of stock for sale by a company on the open market. In other words, an IPO marks the first time that a company is traded on a public exchange. Companies have an IPO to raise capital to expand (usually).
5. Land formerly ruled by a shah : IRAN
The last Shah of Iran was Mohammed-Reza Shah Pahlavi, as he was overthrown in the revolution led by the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979. The post-revolution government sought the extradition of the Shah back to Iran while he was in the United States seeking medical care (he had cancer). His prolonged stay in the United States, recovering from surgery, caused some unrest back in Iran and resentment towards the United States. Some say that this resentment precipitated the storming of the US Embassy in Tehran and the resulting hostage crisis.
9. Political Ron or Rand : PAUL
Ron Paul is a former Republican Congressman from Texas. Paul is a libertarian, and actually ran for president in 1988 as a Libertarian Party candidate. He ran for the Republican nomination for president in 2008 and 2012 as a member of the Liberty Caucus of the party. Paul retired from Congress in 2013, and did not enter the 2016 presidential race. Even though he didn’t run in 2016, Paul actually picked an electoral college vote from a Texas faithless elector. That made Ron Paul the oldest person ever (at 81) to receive an electoral college vote.
Rand Paul is a US Senator representing the state of Kentucky, and was elected to office in 2010 as a prominent member of the Tea Party movement. Senator Rand Paul is the son of US Representative Ron Paul from Texas. Rand Paul thus became the first US Senator to serve alongside a parent in the House of Representatives.
17. “Big __” Delaney: “Sons of Anarchy” character : OTTO
“Sons of Anarchy” is a popular FX crime series about an outlaw motorcycle club in California’s Central Valley. Apparently, “Sons of Anarchy” is the most successful FX show ever.
20. Hawaiian priests : KAHUNAS
Like many words in Hawaiian, the term “kahuna” has several English translations, everything from a priest to an expert in some profession. The expression “the Big Kahuna” comes from the movie “Gidget”, released in 1959. The Big Kahuna was the leader of one of the surfing gangs in the film, and was played by Cliff Robertson.
23. Skating jump : AXEL
An axel is a forward take-off jump in figure skating. The maneuver was first performed by Norwegian Axel Paulsen at the 1882 World Figure Skating championships.
24. Petrol pumper : BRIT
Petrol is the same thing as gasoline. “Petrol” comes via French from the Latin “petroleum”, itself derived from “petra” meaning “rock” and “oleum” meaning “oil”.
30. Starbucks amenity : WI-FI
“Wi-Fi” is nothing more than a trademark, a trademark registered by an association of manufacturers of equipment that use wireless LAN (Local Area Network) technology. A device labeled with “Wi-Fi” has to meet certain defined technical standards, basically meaning that the devices can talk to each other. The name “Wi-Fi” suggests “Wireless Fidelity”, although apparently the term was never intended to mean anything at all.
Starbucks is a coffee company based in Seattle, Washington. It is the largest coffeehouse company in the world and has over 19,000 stores. In the 1990s, Starbucks was opening one new store every single day! Starbucks is named after the chief mate on the Pequod in Herman Melville’s book “Moby Dick”.
34. “Street Dreams” rapper : NAS
Rapper Nas used to go by another stage name, Nasty Nas, and before that by his real name, Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones. Nas released his first album “Illmatic” in 1994, and inventively titled his fifth studio album “Stillmatic”, released in 2001. Not my cup of tea, I would say …
35. Hosiery hue : BEIGE
Our word “beige” comes from the Old French “bege”, a term that applied to the natural color of wool and cotton that was not dyed.
The word “hose” meaning a “covering for the leg” has the same roots as the contemporary German word “Hose” meaning “trousers, pants”.
38. Stretchy synthetic : LYCRA
What we call spandex in the US is known as lycra in the British Isles. “Spandex” was chosen as the name for the elastic fiber as it is an anagram of “expands”.
40. Inc. relative : LTD
In Britain and Ireland the most common type of business (my perception anyway) is one that has private shareholders whose liability is limited to the value of their investment. Such a company is known as a private limited company, and has the letters “Ltd” after the name. If the shares are publicly traded, then the company is a public limited company, and has the letters “plc” after the name.
41. Ravi Shankar’s instrument : SITAR
The sitar has been around since the Middle Ages. The sitar is a stringed instrument that is played by plucking, and is used most often in Hindustani classical music. In the West we have been exposed to the instrument largely through the performances of Ravi Shankar and some music by George Harrison of the Beatles, a onetime student of Shankar.
43. Swiss chocolatier since 1845 : LINDT
The delicious Swiss chocolate sold under the Lindt brand name has its origins in a small confectionery store in Zurich in the 1840s. Lindt purchased our local chocolate company here in San Francisco (Ghirardelli) back in 1998.
45. Mama bear, in Tabasco : OSA
Tabasco is one of Mexico’s 31 “estados” (states), and is located in the very southeast of the country.
50. Animal common in rebus puzzles : EWE
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”.
55. Pac-12 team : UCLA
The UCLA Bruins mascots are Joe and Josephine Bruin, characters that have evolved over the years. There used to be “mean” Bruin mascots but they weren’t very popular with the fans, so now there are only “happy” Bruin mascots at the games.
56. King of fiction : STEPHEN
Stephen King is a remarkably successful author having sold over 350 million copies of his books, many of which have been made into hit movies. I’ve tried reading two or three, and didn’t get too far. I really don’t do horror …
59. Deep-fried carnival confection : FUNNEL CAKE
Funnel cake is a traditional serving at American carnivals and seaside resorts. The cake is made by pouring cake batter from a funnel into hot cooking oil in a circular pattern, and then deep frying until it is golden-brown.
63. Dad, to Dumas : PERE
Alexandre Dumas, pere (father) was the famed writer of “The Three Musketeers” and “The Count of Monte Cristo”. Alexandre Dumas, fils (son) was also a noted writer.
64. Morales of “The Brink” : ESAI
The actor Esai Morales is best known in the world of film for the 1987 movie “La Bamba”, which depicted the life of Ritchie Valens and his half-brother Bob Morales (played by Esai). On the small screen, Morales plays Lt. Tony Rodriguez on “NYPD Blue” and Joseph Adama on “Caprica”.
“The Brink” is a TV comedy that ran for just one season, starting in 2015. The show stars Tim Robbins and Jack Black, and centers on a geopolitical crisis in Pakistan.
65. Corn Belt towers : SILOS
“Silo” is a Spanish word that we absorbed into English, originally coming from the Greek word “siros” that described a pit in which one kept corn.
The Corn Belt (sometimes “Grain Belt”) is a region in the Midwest where, since the mid-1800s, corn has been the major crop. Geographically, the Corn Belt covers Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and parts of Michigan, Ohio, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota and Missouri. About 40% of the world’s corn production comes from the region, and most of that production is used for the feeding of livestock.
66. Toy brand with a Ninjago line : LEGO
Lego is manufactured by Lego Group, a privately held company headquartered in Billund, Denmark. The company was founded by a carpenter called Ole Kirk Christiansen in 1934 and the now-famous plastic interlocking blocks were introduced in 1949. The blocks were originally sold under the name “Automatic Binding Bricks” but I think “Lego” is easier to remember! The name “Lego” comes from the Danish term “leg godt” meaning “play well”.
69. Thames school : ETON
The world-famous Eton College is located just outside London. It lies between the River Thames, and the Jubilee River. The Jubilee is a 7-mile stretch of man-made waterway that was built in the late 1990s to take overflow from the Thames and reduce flooding around the nearby towns.
2. Baba ghanouj bread : PITA
Baba ghanoush (also baba ghanouj) is an Arab dish with the main ingredient of mashed eggplant. It is sometimes served as a (delicious) dip.
4. Iowa’s __ City : SIOUX
Sioux City, Iowa has a history that is inextricably linked with the Missouri River. The city grew from a camp established by the Lewis and Clark expedition that traveled up the river in 1804. Today, Sioux City is the navigational head of the Missouri, the furthest point upstream that is accessible by general cargo ships.
7. Obamacare, briefly : ACA
The correct name for what has been dubbed “Obamacare” is the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (ACA).
8. Baseball analyst Garciaparra : NOMAR
Nomar Garciaparra is one of only thirteen players to have hit two grand slams during a single game in the Majors. He accomplished the feat in 1999 for the Boston Red Sox against the Seattle Mariners.
9. “And the Putter Went … __”: golf history book : PING
“And The Putter Went … PING” is a 2017 book published by PING, the manufacturer of golf equipment. Authored by Jeffery B. Ellis, the book gives a comprehensive history of the development of various styles of golf club and golf balls, I’m guessing with a strong emphasis on PING-branded equipment.
PING is a supplier of golf equipment that was founded in 1959 by Karsten Solheim, soon after he started making putters in his garage. Solheim chose the company name from the sound that he heard when his metal putter struck the ball.
11. Blur in a tabloid pic : UFO
Unidentified flying object (UFO)
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.
12. Fox Business anchor Dobbs : LOU
The journalist Lou Dobbs came to prominence as the anchor of the popular CNN business show “Lou Dobbs Tonight” which ran from 1980 to 2009. Apparently at one point, Dobbs was considering a run for the office of US President or a run for one of the US Senate seats for New Jersey.
15. Letter flourish : SERIF
Serifs are details on the ends of characters in some typefaces. Typefaces without serifs are known as sans-serif, using the French word “sans” meaning “without” and “serif” from the Dutch “schreef” meaning “line”. Some people say that serif fonts are easier to read on paper, whereas sans-serif fonts work better on a computer screen. I’m not so sure though …
19. *Like leisure suits and Nehru jackets : OUT OF STYLE (giving “style sheet”)
A Nehru jacket is very like a regular suit jacket, except that the collar buttons at the neck. It was originally created in the 1940s in India, and then marketed as the Nehru jacket in the west in the sixties. The name Nehru was lifted from Jawaharlal Nehru, the prime minister of India from 1947 to 1964.
21. *Nike competitor : NEW BALANCE (giving “balance sheet”)
New Balance is a footwear manufacturer based in Boston, Massachusetts.
The balance sheet of a company is a snapshot (single point in time) view of a company’s financial position. The balance sheet lists all the company’s liabilities, all of its assets, and all of its ownership equity. The assets of a company, less its liabilities equals the ownership equity. The term “balance” is used because assets always balance out with the sum of liabilities and shareholder equity.
27. 5-Across capital : TEHRAN
(5A. Land formerly ruled by a shah : IRAN)
Tehran is the capital of Iran and is the largest city in the Middle East, with a population of about 8.5 million. Iran has been around a really long time and Tehran is actually the country’s 31st national capital.
29. Webpage option under an invoice : PAY NOW
An invoice is an itemized bill. The term comes from the Middle French “envois” meaning “dispatch (of goods)”. The root verb is “envoyer”, which translates as “to send”.
33. Retailer that abstained from Black Friday in 2015 and launched an #OptOutside movement instead : REI
REI is a sporting goods store, the initialism standing for Recreational Equipment Inc. REI was founded in Seattle by Lloyd and Mary Anderson in 1938 as a cooperative that supplies quality climbing gear to outdoor enthusiasts. The first full-time employee hired by the Andersons was Jim Whittaker, who was the American to climb Mount Everest.
Sporting goods company REI introduced a #OptOutside campaign starting on Black Friday in 2015. The initial focus of the campaign was to encourages customers and employees alike to head out into nature instead of swamping retail outlets on the day that kicked off the holiday shopping season. REI actually closed its doors on Black Friday 2015, rather than participate in the annual shopping frenzy.
36. Flamboyant Dame : EDNA
Dame Edna Everage is the outrageous character created and played by Australian comedian Barry Humphries. I saw him/her perform live in a San Francisco theater, and what a great show it was …
44. Crime lab procedure : DNA TEST
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.
47. Sprawls on the couch : LOLLS
Apparently, the phrase “couch potato” was coined in 1976 by one Tom Iacino of Pasadena. Iacino had a friend named Bob Armstrong who eschewed the active life and liked to lie back on the couch watching TV, the “boob tube”. This lazy guy did have the energy to send out a newsletter called “The Tuber’s Voice”, with Armstrong being the “tuber”, the one watching the “tube”. Iacino then referred to Armstrong as the “couch potato”, the tuber lying on the couch.
54. Cobbler fruit : APPLE
The dessert called “cobbler” originated in colonial America when settlers invented it as a substitute for suet pudding as they didn’t have the necessary ingredients to make the more traditional dish. Instead, they stewed fruit and covered it with a layer of uncooked scones or biscuits, creating a surface that resembled a “cobbled” street, hence the name.
56. Hershey’s toffee bar : SKOR
Skor is a candy bar produced by Hershey’s. “Skor” is Swedish for “shoes”, and the candy bar’s wrapping features a crown that is identical to that found in the Swedish national emblem. What shoes have to do with candy, I don’t know …
57. Thus : ERGO
“Ergo” is the Latin word for “hence, therefore”.
58. Flashy light : NEON
The basic design of neon lighting was first demonstrated at the Paris Motor Show in 1910. Such lighting is made up of glass tubes containing a vacuum into which has been introduced a small amount of neon gas. When a voltage is applied between two electrodes inside the tube, the neon gas “glows” and gives off the familiar light.
62. Menu catchphrase : A LA
The phrase “in the style of” can be translated in “alla” in Italian and “à la” in French.