Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers end with specifications often found on a TICKET to an event:
- 57A. “Exactly!” … and a hint to where 20-, 36- and 43-Across’ ending words may be found : THAT’S THE TICKET!
- 20A. Bygone airplane area : SMOKING SECTION
- 36A. Line up : STAND IN A ROW
- 43A. Position behind the steering wheel : DRIVER’S SEAT
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
5. Paintball impact sound : SPLAT!
The “paint” in paintball isn’t actually paint, but rather a mix of gelatin and food coloring.
10. “__ of Green Gables” : ANNE
“Anne of Green Gables” is a 1908 novel by Lucy Maud Montgomery that she set in the fictional Prince Edward Island community of Avonlea. Montgomery wrote several sequels to “Anne”, with them all being set on Prince Edward Island (PEI), from where the author hailed.
15. Largest city in North Africa : CAIRO
Cairo is the capital city of Egypt. It is nicknamed “The City of a Thousand Minarets” because of its impressive skyline replete with Islamic architecture. The name “Cairo” is a European corruption of the city’s original name in Arabic, “Al-Qahira”.
17. Some toy dogs, for short : POMS
The Pomeranian is a breed of small dog, named for the Pomerania region of Europe (part of eastern Germany and northern Poland). The breed was much loved by the royalty of Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the 19th century, Queen Victoria owned a particularly small Pomeranian. Due to the notoriety of the monarch’s pet, the Pomeranian was bred for small size, so that during the Queen’s admittedly long reign, the size of the average “pom” was reduced by 50% …
18. Llama habitat : ANDES
The Andes range is the longest continuous chain of mountains in the world, running right down the length of the west coast of South America for about 4,300 miles. The highest peak in the Andes is Mt. Aconcagua, at an elevation of 22,841 feet. Interestingly, the peak of Mt. Chimborazo in Ecuador is the furthest point on the Earth’s surface from the center of the planet. That’s because of the equatorial “bulge” around the Earth’s “waist”.
Many female mammals lick off their newborn. That’s not an option for llamas as their tongues only reach out of their mouths about half an inch. Instead llama dams nuzzle their young and hum to them.
19. Weekend-starting letters : TGIF
“Thank God It’s Friday” (TGIF) is a relatively new expression that apparently originated in Akron, Ohio. It was a catchphrase used first by disk jockey Jerry Healy of WAKR in the early seventies. That said, one blog reader wrote me to say that he had been using the phrase in the fifties.
25. Electric car brand : TESLA
Tesla Motors is a manufacturer of electric vehicles based in Palo Alto, California. Tesla is noted for producing the first electric sports car, called the Tesla Roadster. The company followed the sports car with a luxury sedan, the Model S. The Model S was the world’s best selling plug-in electric vehicle of 2015.
33. Home for mil. jets : AFB
Air Force Base (AFB)
42. Landlocked African republic : MALI
The Republic of Mali is a landlocked country in western Africa, south of Algeria. Formerly known as French Sudan, the nation’s most famous city is Timbuktu. Mali is the third-largest producer of gold on the continent, after South Africa and Ghana.
48. “Rubber Duckie” singer on Sesame Street : ERNIE
“Rubber Duckie” is a song performed by the muppet Ernie on “Sesame Street”. Rubber Duckie is also the name of Ernie’s favorite toy, his rubber duck. “Rubber Duckie” was released as a single in 1970 and actually made it into the charts.
65. Unit seized by a narc : KILO
“Narc” is a slang term for a law enforcement officer who tracks down criminals associated with illegal drugs. “Narc” is short for “narcotics officer”. Narcs might work for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
66. Some surrealist paintings : DALIS
The artist Salvador Dalí liked to make a splash in public. He was known to walk an anteater on a lead around Paris. He also brought an anteater on stage to an interview on “The Dick Cavett Show” in 1970.
67. Info : DOPE
Our use of the word “dope” to mean “inside information” probably comes from horse racing. The idea is that a better might have information about which horse has been drugged (doped) to influence its performance.
68. Composer Stravinsky : IGOR
The composer Igor Stravinsky’s most famous works were completed relatively early in his career, when he was quite young. His three ballets “The Firebird”, “Petrushka” and “The Rite of Spring” were published in 1910-1913, when Stravinsky was in his early thirties.
4. Slam dunk or lay-up : BASKET
That would be basketball.
7. Tupperware covers : LIDS
Back in the 1930s, Earl Tupper was working at the DuPont Chemical Company, and from DuPont obtained inflexible pieces of polyethylene slag. Tupper purified the slag and shaped it into unbreakable containers. He added airtight lids with a “burping seal”, which were provided tight seals similar to that provided by the lids on paint cans. He called his new product Tupperware.
9. Puccini opera : TOSCA
Unlike so many operas, Giacomo Puccini’s “Tosca” was a big hit right from day one, when it was first performed in 1900 at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome. “Tosca” is currently the eighth-most performed opera in America.
10. Designed to minimize junk email : ANTI-SPAM
Apparently the term “spam”, used for unwanted email, is taken from a “Monty Python” sketch. In the sketch (which I’ve seen) the dialog is taken over by the word Spam, a play on the glut of canned meat in the markets of Britain after WWII. So “spam” is used for the glut of emails that takes over online communication. I can just imagine nerdy Internet types (like me) adopting something from a “Monty Python” sketch to describe an online phenomenon …
12. Nuremberg no : NEIN
Nürnberg (anglicized as “Nuremberg”) is a Bavarian city located north of Munich. Historically it is remembered for the huge Nazi Nuremberg rallies, and the Nuremberg trials that took place at the end of WWII. Nürnberg is sometimes confused with the city of Nürburg in the west of Germany, famous for the Nürburgring race track.
21. “Beware the __ of March” : IDES
In Act I of William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” a soothsayer warns the doomed emperor to “beware the Ides of March”. Caesar ignores the prophecy and is subsequently killed on the steps of the Capitol by a group of conspirators on that fateful day.
27. Chaps : LADS
“Chap” is an informal term for “lad, fellow”, especially in England. The term derives from “chapman”, an obsolete word meaning “purchaser” or “trader”.
31. Big name in pineapples : DOLE
James Dole lent his name to today’s Dole Food Company. James Dole was known as the Pineapple King, as he developed the pineapple industry in Hawaii and founded the Hawaiian Pineapple Company, the forerunner to the Dole Food Company. Dole might have had some help on the way, as he was cousin to Sanford B, Dole, President of the Republic of Hawaii from 1894 to 1900.
33. Band with a voltage symbol in its logo : AC/DC
The Heavy Metal band known as AC/DC was formed by two brothers Malcolm and Angus Young in Australia. The group is usually called “Acca Dacca” down under.
34. Jamie of “M*A*S*H” : FARR
Actor Jamie Farr is best known for playing the cross-dressing Max Klinger in the sitcom ”M*A*S*H”. Although Farr landed a role in the 1955 movie “Blackboard Jungle”, his career didn’t really take off until he started appearing regularly on “The Red Skelton Show”. Years later he managed to get a one-episode appearance in ”M*A*S*H”, and his character and performance were received so well that he became a regular on the show. Farr actually did serve in the US Army in Korea, although it was after hostilities had ended. The dog tags that Farr wore when filming ”M*A*S*H” were the one’s he actually wore while serving in the military.
35. Soft French cheese : BRIE
Brie is a soft cheese that is named after the French region in which it originated. Brie is similar to the equally famous (and delicious) Camembert.
38. “__ idiot!”: “Doh!” : I’M AN
“The Simpsons” is one of the most successful programs produced by the Fox Broadcasting Company. Homer Simpson’s catchphrase is “D’oh!”, which became such a famous exclamation that it has been included in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) since 2001. “D’oh!” can be translated as “I should have thought of that!”
40. “Green Acres” co-star : EVA GABOR
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 1966. 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.
The popular sitcom “Green Acres” originally aired from 1965 to 1971. The magnificent stars of the show were Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor, playing a couple who moved from New York City to a farm in the country. “Green Acres” was cancelled as part of CBS’s so called “rural purge”. In a move to attract younger audiences, shows were added to the schedule with more urban and contemporary themes. Classics like “The Beverly Hillbillies”, “Hee Haw” and “Mayberry R.F.D.” were dropped at the same time as “Green Acres”.
45. Word with bar or torch : TIKI
The world’s first tiki bar was called “Don the Beachcomber”, and was opened in L.A. in 1933 by Ernest Gantt (also known as “Donn Beach”). The bar became famous for its exotic rum cocktails. Gantt was called to serve in WWII, and the business expanded dramatically under his ex-wife’s management so that there was a 160-restaurant chain waiting for Gantt when he returned stateside.
52. Patriot Allen : ETHAN
Ethan Allen was one of the founders of the state of Vermont. Allen was also a hero in the American Revolutionary War, famous for leading (along with Benedict Arnold) the small band of men known as the Green Mountain Boys that captured Fort Ticonderoga. And yes, the Ethan Allen store and furniture line is named for Ethan Allen the patriot, even though he had nothing to do with the furniture business.
55. Phoenix suburb : TEMPE
Tempe is a city in the metropolitan area of Phoenix. The city is named for the Vale of Tempe in Greece.
58. Symbol of sanctity : HALO
The Greek word “halos” is the name given to the ring of light around the sun or moon, which gives us our word “halo”, used for a radiant light depicted above the head of a saintly person.
62. Schuss or slalom : SKI
A schuss is a very fast run downhill run in skiing, not taking any turns to slow the pace of the descent. “Schuss” is a German word for “shot”.
“Slalom” is an anglicized version of the Norwegian word “slalam” that translates as “skiing race”. There is a longer version of the traditional slalom that is called giant slalom.