Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers are MONIKERS, nicknames derived from famous fictional or nonfictional characters:
- 17A. Nerd’s moniker : POINDEXTER
- 25A. Detective’s moniker : SHERLOCK
- 39A. Traitor’s moniker : JUDAS
- 47A. Genius’ moniker : EINSTEIN
- 60A. Old-timer’s moniker : METHUSELAH
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. New England NFLers : PATS
The New England Patriots football team was founded in 1959 as the Boston Patriots. The “Patriots” name was selected from suggestions made by football fans in Boston. The team played at several different stadiums in the Boston area for just over ten years, before moving to their current home base in Foxborough, Massachusetts. At the time of the move, the “Boston” name was dropped and changed to “New England”.
14. Cornell who founded Cornell : EZRA
Ezra Cornell was an associate of Samuel Morse and made his money in the telegraph business. After he retired he co-founded Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. He provided a generous endowment and donated his farm as a site for the school, and was then rewarded by having the institute named after him.
15. Actress Tierney : MAURA
Maura Tierney is an actress from Boston, Massachusetts. Tierney is best known for playing Lisa Miller on television’s “NewsRadio” and Abby Lockhart on “ER”.
16. Passionate god : AMOR
Eros, the Greek god of love, was also known as Amor. The Roman counterpart to Eros was Cupid.
17. Nerd’s moniker : POINDEXTER
Poindexter is a character in the television show “Felix the Cat”, which originally aired in the late fifties. He is a nerdy type, wearing a lab coat and glasses with thick lenses. The character lends his name to the term “poindexter”, meaning just that, a nerd.
20. Actress Gabor : EVA
Eva Gabor was the youngest of the Gabor sisters, all three of whom were celebrated Hollywood actresses and socialites (her siblings were Zsa-Zsa and Magda). One of Eva’s claims to fame is the unwitting promotion of the game called “Twister”, the sales of which were languishing in 1996. In an appearance on “The Tonight Show” she got on all fours and played the game with Johnny Carson. Sales took off immediately, and Twister became a huge hit.
21. Blends : OLIOS
“Olio” is a term meaning a hodgepodge or a mixture, coming from the mixed stew of the same name. The stew in turn takes its name from the Spanish “olla”, the clay pot used for cooking.
25. Detective’s moniker : SHERLOCK
According to author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, his Sherlock Holmes character was based on a Dr. Joseph Bell for whom Doyle worked in Edinburgh. That said, Bell actually wrote a letter to Doyle in which he said “you are yourself Sherlock Holmes and well you know it”.
30. Michelle who was the youngest female to play in a PGA Tour event : WIE
Michelle Wie is an American golfer on the LPGA Tour. Wie began playing golf at the age of four and was the youngest player ever to qualify for an LPGA tour event. She turned pro just before her 16th birthday …
38. Ending for marion : -ETTE
A marionette is a type of puppet, one that is controlled from above by a series of strings or wires. The term “marionette” is French for “little, little Mary” and is probably a reference to one of the first such puppets, which depicted the Virgin Mary.
39. Traitor’s moniker : 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.
40. Gung-ho : AVID
Kung ho is a Chinese expression meaning “work together, cooperate”. The anglicized version “gung ho” was adopted by a Major Evans Carlson as an expression of combined spirit for his 2nd Marine Raider Battalion during WWII. From there the term spread throughout the Marine Corps and back to America where it persists to this day.
41. Lawn-trimming tool : WEED EATER
Weed Eater was the company founded in 1971 that invented the string trimmer used for cutting grass and other plants while protecting nearby objects. Fans of “Dancing with the Stars” might be interested in the fact that the Weed Eater was invented by George C. Ballas, Sr., grandfather of professional dancer Mark Ballas.
43. Anti-inflammatory brand : ALEVE
Aleve is a brand name used for the anti-inflammatory drug Naproxen sodium.
44. Sixth sense, initially : ESP
Extrasensory perception (ESP)
47. Genius’ moniker : EINSTEIN
Albert Einstein’s first wife was a fellow student of his at the Zurich Polytechnic, Mileva Marić. The couple had a daughter together before they married in 1903, and then two sons. Albert and Mileva divorced in 1919. Albert was remarried that same year, to Elsa Löwenthal. Albert and Elsa had started a relationship in 1912, while he was still married to his first wife. Elsa had also been married before, divorcing Max Löwenthal in 1908. When Elsa took Albert’s name at the time of their marriage, she was regaining her old family name, as she was also an Einstein by birth. Albert and Elsa were first cousins.
53. Captain Kirk’s “final frontier” : SPACE
The original “Star Trek” TV show opened each episode with a speech from Captain Kirk, played by William Shatner:
Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.
Whether English infinitives should be “split” or not is the subject of much debate. In the English language the infinitive of a verb is made up of the “to” marker and the “bare infinitive”, e.g. “to be”, “to do” and “to go”. A split infinitive occurs when an adverb is placed not after the infinitive but in between the “to” marker and the bare infinitive. The most famous example in modern English I think has to be in the opening lines of the “Star Trek” television series: “to boldly go (where no man has gone before …)”.
54. Young zebras : FOALS
The name “zebra” comes from an old Portuguese word “zevra” meaning “wild ass”. Studies of zebra embryos show that zebras are basically black in color, with white stripes that develop with growth. Before this finding, it was believed they were white, with black stripes.
60. Old-timer’s moniker : METHUSELAH
Methuselah was the son of Enoch and the grandfather of Noah, and the man in the Bible who is reported to have lived the longest. Methuselah passed away seven days before the onset of the Great Flood, and tradition holds that he was 969 years old when he died.
62. Skunk cabbage feature : ODOR
There are several species known as skunk cabbage, many of which release an unpleasant odor when the leaves are crushed, hence the name.
64. Ballet move : PLIE
The French word for “bent” is “plié”. In the ballet move known as a plié, the knees are bent.
66. Krispy __ : KREME
The Krispy Kreme chain of doughnut stores was founded in 1937 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The company introduced the Whole Wheat Glazed doughnut in 2007, great for folks looking to eat a healthy diet, I am sure …
67. Man, but not woman : ISLE
The Isle of Man is a large island located in the middle of the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Ireland. I used to spend a lot of time there in my youth, and a very interesting place it is indeed. The Isle of Man is classed as a British Crown Dependency and isn’t part of the United Kingdom at all. It is self-governing and has its own parliament called the Tynwald. The Tynwald was created in AD 979 and is arguably the oldest continuously-running parliament in the world. The inhabitants of the island speak English, although they do have their own language as well called Manx, which is very similar to Irish Gaeilge and Scottish Gaelic. And then there are those Manx cats, the ones without any tails. I’ve seen lots of them, and can attest that they are indeed found all over the island.
1. First name in skunks : PEPE
Pepé Le Pew is a very likeable cartoon character from the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series. Pepé is a French skunk, first introduced way back in 1945. He is always thinking of “l’amour” and chases the lady skunks, or a black cat with a white stripe painted down her back accidently.
2. Sea of __: Black Sea arm : AZOV
The Sea of Azov lies east of the Crimean Peninsula and is linked to the larger Black Sea via the narrow Strait of Kerch. The Sea of Azov is the shallowest sea in the world, with the depth never going above forty-six feet.
4. __ Diego : SAN
The name of the California city of San Diego dates back to 1602, when Spanish explorer Sebastián Vizcaíno named the area after the Catholic Saint Didacus. Saint Didacus was more commonly referred to as San Diego de Alcalá.
5. Silvery food fish : SMELTS
Smelt is the name given to several types of small silvery fish, examples being Great Lake smelts and whitebait smelts.
10. Rats : TATTLETALES
Something described as “tattletale” is revealing, it gives away a secret. The term is a combination of “tattle” and “tale”, and is probably patterned on the similar word “telltale”. “To tattle” means to tell secrets, and the noun “tattletale” applies to someone who tattles tells secrets and informs.
11. Former New York senator Al D’__ : AMATO
Al D’Amato was a former Republican Senator who represented the state of New York from 1981 to 1999. Outside of politics, D’Amato is big into poker and is chairman of the Poker Players Alliance, an organization that fights for the rights of poker players in the US, mainly the right to play poker online.
13. “Clean Made Easy” vacuum brand : ORECK
The Oreck Corporation is named after founder David Oreck and makes vacuum cleaners and air purifiers. The company started out selling vacuum cleaners by mail, a new concept in 1963. David Oreck himself appears regularly as a spokesman in the company’s ads and infomercials.
22. Like Death Valley : ARID
Death Valley is a spectacular desert valley in California that is part of the Mojave Desert. Badwater Basin in Death Valley is lowest point in North America, sitting at 282 feet below sea level. Remarkably, Badwater Basin is located just 84 miles from Mount Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous United States.
37. Pigged out (on), briefly : ODED
39. Taunting remark : JAPE
“To jape” means “to joke or quip”. The exact origins of “jape” are unclear, but it does seem to come from Old French. In the mid-1600’s “to jape” was a slang term meaning “to have sex with”. No joke!
42. Italian noble family : ESTE
Este is a town in the Province of Padua in the north of Italy. The town gave its name to the House of Este, a European princely dynasty. Members of the House of Este were important patrons of the arts, especially during the Italian Renaissance. The House of Hanover, that ruled Britain from 1714 to 1901 when Queen Victoria died, was perhaps the most notable branch of the House of Este.
47. Prevent, in legalese : ESTOP
The term “estop” means to block or stop by using some legal device. The word “estop” comes from Old French, in which “estopper” means “to stop up” or “to impede”.
48. Apple players : IPODS
The iPod is Apple’s signature line of portable media players. The iPod first hit the market in 2001 with a hard drive-based device, now known as the iPod Classic. Later models all use flash memory, allowing a smaller form factor. The smallest of the flash-based models is the iPod Shuffle, which was introduced in 2005.
49. Compact 48-Down : NANOS
The iPod Nano is the successor to the iPod Mini and was introduced to the market at the end of 2005. There have been seven versions of the Nano to date and the current Nano as well as playing tunes is an FM player, records voice memos, has a pedometer and can connect with external devices (like a heart monitor, maybe) using Bluetooth technology.
51. “You’ve got the wrong person!” : NOT ME!
Nor me …
60. March on Washington monogram : MLK
1963’s March on Washington was one of the largest political rallies in the history of the US, with about a quarter of a million people participating in the march itself. The rally was a call for civil and economic rights for African Americans. Famously, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech to the protesters while standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial.
I remember listening to the full text of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I have a dream …” speech not long after I moved to this country. I think I am man enough to admit that my eyes misted up as I listened to the words. I also recall thinking how lucky I was to have been invited to live in this great country, which was facing up to some of the sins of its past.
I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
61. Prefix with gram : EPI-
An epigram is a short and clever statement, poem or discourse.