Edited by: Rich Norris
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The SITUATION we have in today’s puzzle is that the themed answers each contain two incidents of the hidden word WIN:
- 57A. Mediator’s goal … and what’s found in three puzzle answers : WIN-WIN SITUATION
- 17A. Its B-side was “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” : BLOWIN’ IN THE WIND
- 25A. Portable ventilation option : TWIN WINDOW FAN
- 43A. Repair shop vehicle features : TOWING WINCHES
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. British prime minister before and after Gladstone : DISRAELI
Benjamin Disraeli was the Prime Minister of Britain for a few months in 1868 and again from 1874 to 1880. Disraeli enjoyed a particularly warm relationship with Queen Victoria, partly because they both shared an intense dislike for Disraeli’s political rival, William Gladstone. Disraeli was the only British prime minister of Jewish birth, although he was baptized into the Anglican faith when he was 12 years old.
William Ewart Gladstone was the leader of the Liberal party and Prime Minister of Britain on four different occasions. Gladstone resigned in 1894. At the time of his resignation he was 84 years old, making him the oldest person to serve in the office.
9. Fifth-century conqueror : ATTILA
In his day, Attila the Hun was the most feared enemy of the Roman Empire, until he died in 453 AD. Attila was the leader of the Hunnic Empire of central Europe and was famous for invading much of the continent. However, he never directly attacked Rome.
15. Baltic native : ESTONIAN
Estonia is one of the former Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs) and is located in Northern Europe on the Baltic Sea, due south of Finland. Estonia has been overrun and ruled by various empires over the centuries. The country did enjoy a few years of freedom at the beginning of the 20th century after a war of independence against the Russian Empire. However, Estonia was occupied again during WWII, first by the Russians and then by the Germans, and then reoccupied by the Soviets in 1944. Estonia has flourished as an independent country again since the collapse of the USSR in 1991.
17. Its B-side was “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” : BLOWIN’ IN THE WIND
Bob Dylan wrote the famous song “Blowin’ in the Wind” in 1963, apparently taking all of ten minutes to finish the whole composition. “Blowin’ in the Wind” has been covered many, many times, with a Peter, Paul and Mary version in 1963 the most commercially successful.
19. Flower part : SEPAL
In a flower, the sepals are those green, leaf-like structures that are “interleaved” with the petals, providing support. Prior to acting as support for the petals, the sepals protect the flower in bud.
20. Actor Daniel __ Kim : DAE
Daniel Dae Kim is an American actor who is famous for playing Jin-Soo Kwon on “Lost”. Kim now plays one of the leads on the CBS remake of “Hawaii Five-O”, portraying the character Chin Ho Kelly.
31. 1976 African uprising site : SOWETO
Soweto is an urban area in the city of Johannesburg, South Africa. The name comes from SOuth WEstern TOwnship, a black township that was set up the days of apartheid. The famous Soweto Uprising took place in 1976, triggered by government policy forcing education to be given in Afrikaans rather than in English.
32. Longtime NBC hit : SNL
NBC first aired a form of “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) in 1975 under the title “NBC’s Saturday Night”. The show was actually created to give Johnny Carson some time off from “The Tonight Show”. Back then “The Tonight Show” had a weekend episode, and Carson convinced NBC to pull the Saturday or Sunday recordings off the air and hold them for subsequent weeknights in which Carson needed a break. NBC turned to Lorne Michaels and asked him to put together a variety show to fill the vacant slot, and he came up with what we now call “Saturday Night Live”.
36. Armada leaders? : PROWS
The most famous Armada was the Spanish fleet that sailed against England in order to overthrow Queen Elizabeth I in 1588. It failed in its mission, partly due to bad weather encountered en route. Ironically, the English mounted a similar naval attack against Spain the following year, and it failed as well.
39. Sallie __ : MAE
“Sallie Mae” is a nickname for SLM Corporation, created in 1972 by the US government as the Student Loan Marketing Association. By 2004 the government had severed all its ties with Sallie Mae, and today SLM is basically a profit-focused lender.
42. Bad mark : STIGMA
A stigma (plural “stigmata), in a social sense, is a distinguishing mark of disgrace. For example, one might have to suffer the stigma of being in prison. The term derives from the Greek “stigma”, which was a mark or brand.
46. Criterion: Abbr. : STD
60. Los Angeles region bordering Tarzana : ENCINO
Encino is a district in the City of Los Angeles on the north slope of the Santa Monica Mountains. The area takes its name from a historic parcel of land called Rancho Los Encinos (Ranch of the Evergreens).
Tarzana is an affluent neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles. The community was developed on the site of a former ranch that was owned by author Edgar Rice Burroughs. Burroughs of course wrote the popular “Tarzan” series of novels, and named his property Tarzana Ranch. Sadly, Tarzana’s history includes racial segregation and privilege for the white population. This was instigated by Burroughs himself, who marketed the community he developed back in the 1920s using British imperial themes.
63. Where to see Velázquez’s “Las Meninas” : THE PRADO
“Las Meninas” is a painting by Diego Velázquez, the name of which translates to “The Maids of Honor”. “Las Meninas” is the most famous painting owned by the Museo del Prado in Madrid.
Diego Velázquez was a Spanish painter during the Baroque period. He was a member of the court of King Philip IV in the first half of the 17th century, and as such was commissioned to paint many portraits and scenes of historical importance.
1. Aristocratic newcomers : DEBS
“Deb” is short for “debutante”, which translates from French as “female beginner”.
2. Key : ISLE
A “key” (also “cay”) is a low island offshore, as in the Florida Keys. Our term in English comes from the Spanish “cayo” meaning “shoal, reef”.
5. Blue dye : ANIL
Anil is another name for the indigo plant, as well as the name for the blue indigo dye that is obtained from it. The color of anil is relatively close to navy blue. The main coloring agent in indigo dye is a crystalline powder called indigotin.
6. A, in Augsburg : EIN
Augsburg is a city in Bavaria, Germany. Augsburg was founded in 15 BC, making it the third oldest city in the whole country.
7. Applied, as stucco : LAID ON
Stucco is a decorative coating that is applied to walls and ceilings. “Stucco” is the Italian name for the material, and a word that we imported into English.
9. Etna ejection : ASH
Mt. Etna is the largest of three active volcanoes in Italy. Mt Etna is about 2 1/2 times the height of its equally famous sister, Mt. Vesuvius. Etna is home to a 110-km long narrow-guage railway, and two ski resorts.
11. Shooting marbles : TAWS
In the game of marbles, the “taw” is the shooting marble, and is shot at the “ducks”.
13. Hardly a bon vivant : LONER
A bon vivant (plural “bons vivants”) is a person who enjoys the best of food and drink, a person with very refined tastes. The term is French, coming from “good living” in that language.
18. Mortise partner : TENON
One simple type of joint used in carpentry is a mortise and tenon, basically a projection carved at the end of one piece of wood that fits into a hole cut into the end of another. In a dovetail joint, the projecting tenon is not rectangular but is cut at a bias, so that when the dovetails are joined they resist being pulled apart. You’ll see dovetail joints in drawers around the house.
22. CV section : BIO
A curriculum vitae (CV) is a listing of someone’s work experience and qualifications, and is used mainly in making a job application. The term “curriculum vitae” can be translated from Latin as “course of life”.
23. Symbol of wisdom : OWL
The Greek goddess Athena (sometimes “Athene”) is often associated with wisdom, among other attributes. In many representations. Athena is depicted with an owl sitting on her head. It is this linkage of the owl with the goddess of wisdom that led to today’s perception of the owl as being “wise”. Athena’s Roman counterpart was Minerva.
25. Kitchen amts. : TSPS
27. Jerome Kern title lyric preceding “don’t ask me” : I WON’T DANCE …
“I Won’t Dance” is a Jerome Kern song that he composed in 1934 for the musical “Three Sisters”. The original lyrics for the tune were written by Oscar Hammerstein II and Otto Harbach. The lyrics were rewritten by Dorothy Fields for the 1935 film “Roberta”, in which it was famously performed by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. It is the latter lyrics that we most often hear today.
29. Oz. and lb. : WTS
The unit of mass that we know today as a “pound” is descended from the old Roman unit of weight known as a “libra”. That “libra” connection is why we abbreviate “pound” to “lb”. The name “pound” though comes from the Latin “pondo” meaning “weight”. Our term “ounce” (abbreviated to “oz.”) comes from the Latin “uncia”, which was 1/12 of a Roman “libra”.
30. Story of Greek origin : ATTIC
An attic or loft is a room or space located below the roof of a building. The term “attic” is a shortened form of “attic story”, the uppermost story or level of a house. This term “attic story” originally applied to a low, decorative level built on top of the uppermost story behind a building’s decorative facade. This use of decoration at the top of buildings was common in ancient Greece, and was particularly important in the Attica style. That Attica style was so called because it originated in the historical region of Attica that encompassed the city of Athens. And that’s how our attics are linked to ancient Greece.
34. Soaps actress Rylan : EMME
Emme Rylan is an actress from Providence, North Carolina who is perhaps best-known for her roles in soap operas, notably “Guiding Light” and “The Young and the Restless”.
35. Luxuriating locales : SPAS
The word “spa” migrated into English from Belgium, as Spa is the name of a municipality in the east of the country that is famous for its healing hot springs. The name “Spa” comes from the Walloon word “espa” meaning “spring, fountain”.
37. RR map dot : STN
A station (stn.) is a railroad (R.R.) stop.
39. __ drop : MIC
A “mic drop” takes place when a performer has done particularly well and decides to celebrate by throwing or dropping the microphone to the floor. That doesn’t seem to happen at the performances I tend to frequent …
41. Tough person to bargain with : EGOTIST
An egoist (also “egotist”) is a selfish and conceited person. The opposite would be an altruist.
42. Kim, to Khloé : SIS
Kim Kardashian is a socialite and television personality. She was introduced into society by her friend, Paris Hilton. Kardashian’s name first hit the headlines when a homemade sex tape made by her and singer Ray J was leaked.
Khloé Kardashian managed to parlay her exposure on the reality show “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” into spin-offs called “Kourtney and Khloé Take Miami” and “Khloé & Lamar”. Guess how many episodes of those three shows that I’ve seen …
44. “Hawaii Five-0” extra, perhaps : WAHINE
“Wahine” is the word for “woman”, in both Hawaiian and Maori.
The cop show “Hawaii Five-O” originally ran from 1968 until 1980, with Jack Lord and James MacArthur playing detectives Steve McGarrett and “Danno” Williams. The famous theme music was composed by Morton Stevens. The show was rebooted as “Hawaii Five-0”, premiering in 2010, with Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan playing Steve McGarrett and “Danno” Williams. Notice the important difference in the titles of the two versions of the show: the former using a capital letter O, and the latter the numeral zero.
47. It’s often found in a ball : TWINE
Our word “twine”, meaning a light string, has the same root as our word “twin”. The original Old English “twin” was a double thread.
50. Part of an exercise regimen : SWIM
Quite often, the terms “regime” and “regimen” seem to be used interchangeably. In contemporary usage though, “regime” is applied more generally, and “regimen” more specifically. A “regimen” is a systematic approach that one might apply to something, exercise or diet for example. The term “regime” can also be used in such contexts, but can have additional definitions, such as “government in power”. A form of government cannot be described as a “regimen”.
52. Marketer of Medigap insurance plans : AARP
“Medigap” is a term used to describe Medicare supplemental insurance. Medigap insurance covers those many costs that might be incurred by Medicare beneficiaries, such as co-pays and services that fall outside of the Medicare umbrella.
53. Dump annex? : -STER
“Dumpster” is one of those words that we use generically that is actually a brand name. The original “Dumpster” was patented by the Dempster Brothers of Knoxville, Tennessee. “Dumpster” is derived from “dump” and “Dempster”.
54. Opera set in Egypt : AIDA
“Aida” is the famous opera by Giuseppe Verdi, actually based on a scenario written by French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette. Mariette also designed the costumes and stages for the opening performance. The opera was first staged in 1871 in an opera house in Cairo. In the storyline, Aida is an Ethiopian princess brought into Egypt as a slave. Radames is an Egyptian commander who falls in love with her, and then of course complications arise!
59. Home of the Burj Khalifa: Abbr. : UAE
Burj Khalifa is a spectacular skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is the tallest man-made structure in the world, and has been so since the completion of its exterior in 2009. The space in the building came onto the market at a really bad time, during the global financial crisis. The building was part of a US$20 billion development of downtown Dubai that was backed by the city government which had to go looking for a bailout from the neighboring city of Abu Dhabi. The tower was given the name Burj Khalifa at the last minute, apparently as a nod to the UAE president Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan who helped to broker the bailout.