Edited by: Rich Norris
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Each of today’s themed answers are “subtly seasoned”, they contain hidden words that are the names of seasonings:
- 23A. Poem title following “Gin a body meet a body” : COMIN’ THRO’ THE RYE (hiding “mint”)
- 34A. Brahms and Clara Schumann, by most accounts : PLATONIC LOVES (hiding “clove”)
- 51A. Paid informants : NEWS AGENCIES (hiding “sage”)
- 70A. Axioms : UNIVERSAL TRUTHS (hiding “salt”)
- 94A. Dietitian’s recommendations : HEALTHY MEALS (hiding “thyme”)
- 109A. Hospital emergency units : TRAUMA CENTERS (hiding “mace”)
- 125A. In danger of being towed : PARKED ILLEGALLY (hiding “dill”)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Bambinos : TOTS
In Italian, a “bambino” (male child) might call his mother “Mamma”.
5. Kaput : SHOT
“Kaput” is a familiar term meaning “incapacitated, destroyed”, and comes to us from French (via German). The original word “capot” means “not having won a single trick” in the French card game called Piquet.
23. Poem title following “Gin a body meet a body” : COMIN’ THRO’ THE RYE (hiding “mint”)
“Comin’ Thro’ the Rye” is a 1782 poem by Scottish poet Robert Burns. The words are used in a traditional children’s song, which uses a variant of the tune for “Auld Lang Syne”. Here’s the chorus:
Comin thro’ the rye, poor body,
Comin thro’ the rye,
She draigl’t a’ her petticoatie,
Comin thro’ the rye!
27. Nancy Drew series author : KEENE
The “Nancy Drew” mystery stories were produced by the Stratemeyer Syndicate. The founder of the Syndicate hired a team of writers to produce the “Nancy Drew” novels, but listed the author of each book as the fictional Carolyn Keene.
34. Brahms and Clara Schumann, by most accounts : PLATONIC LOVES (hiding “clove”)
The Greek philosopher Plato wrote a philosophical treatise on the nature of love called “Symposium”. “Symposium” is the source of the contemporary phrase “Platonic love”.
Clara Schumann was a famous concert pianist, and the wife of composer Robert Schumann. Clara is known not only for her talent on the piano, but also for premiering works by Johannes Brahms, who was a dear friend of the Schumanns.
37. Film noir hat : FEDORA
A fedora is a lovely hat, I think. It is made of felt, and is similar to a trilby, but has a broader brim. “Fedora” was a play written for Sarah Bernhardt and first performed in 1889. Bernhardt had the title role of Princess Fedora, and on stage she wore a hat similar to a modern-day fedora. The play led to the women’s fashion accessory, the fedora hat, commonly worn by women into the beginning of the twentieth century. Men then started wearing fedoras, but only when women gave up the fashion …
41. Indian author Santha Rama __ : RAU
Santha Rama Rau was a travel writer from India who lived much of her life in the US. As well as writing her own books, Rau also adapted the E. M. Forster novel “A Passage to India” for the stage.
43. Gp. with arms : NRA
National Rifle Association (NRA)
45. MS. enclosures : SAES
An SAE is a “stamped, addressed envelope”. An SASE is a “self-addressed, stamped envelope”.
58. Replaceable tire part : TREAD
A retread tire is one that has been recycled, possibly more than once. The tread of the old tire is buffed away, and and new rubber tread is applied to the “bare” tire using some special process that seems to work really well. Retreads are a lot cheaper, and obviously are relatively friendly to the environment.
60. Early U.S.’s Northwest __ : TERR
The first part of the US to be completely free of slavery was the Northwest Territory, which later became the states of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
79. Madre’s hermana : TIA
In Spanish, the “hermana” (sister) of your “madre” (mother) is your “tia” (aunt).
84. Film with a saloon : OATER
The term “oater” that is used for a western movie comes from the number of horses seen, as horses love oats!
89. Actress Kunis : MILA
Mila Kunis is a Ukrainian-born, American actress, who plays Jackie Burkhart on “That ’70s Show”. Fans of the cartoon series “Family Guy” might recognize her voicing the Meg Griffin character. In ”Black Swan”, Kunis plays a rival ballet dancer to the character played by Natalie Portman. In her personal life, Kunis dated Macaulay Culkin for 8 years, but married Ashton Kutcher, her costar from “That 70s Show”, in 2015.
91. Fellow “I can’t be torn apart from,” in a 1964 #1 hit : MY GUY
“My Guy” is a 1964 Motown song written by Smokey Robinson and recorded by Mary Wells. The song was to be Mary Wells only real hit.
92. Mona Lisa, e.g. : BRUNETTE
Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece that we know in English as the “Mona Lisa” is called “La Gioconda” in Italian, the language of the artist. It’s also known as “La Joconde” by the Government of France which owns the painting and displays it in the Louvre Museum in Paris. The title comes from the name of the subject, almost certainly Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo. Giocondo was a wealthy silk merchant in Florence who commissioned the painting for the couple’s new home to celebrate the birth of their second son.
97. GM navigation system : ONSTAR
The OnStar system was developed as a joint venture between GM, EDS and Hughes. The product itself was launched in 1996. Today, OnStar is only available on GM cars, although it used to be offered on other makes of car through a licensing agreement. OnStar is a subscription service that packages vehicle security, telephone, satellite navigation and remote diagnostics.
100. Retired NBA big man Ming : YAO
Yao Ming is a retired professional basketball player from Shanghai who played for the Houston Rockets. At 7’6″, Yao was the tallest man playing in the NBA.
101. Solstice mo. : DEC
A solstice occurs twice in every year. The summer solstice is the longest day of the year (has the most daylight), and the winter solstice is the shortest.
102. Flamenco shout : OLE!
Flamenco is a style of Spanish music and dance. The origin of the word “flamenco” isn’t clearly understood, but the explanation that seems most credible to me is that it comes from Flanders in Northern Europe. Given that “flamenco” is the Spanish word for “Flemish” and Flanders is home to the Flemish people it makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?
103. 1987 Beatty/Hoffman flop : ISHTAR
I guess “Ishtar” did bomb and was a indeed a disaster, because I’ve never come across the title outside of crosswords. The film stars Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman as lounge singers working in Morocco! There’s a Cold War plot and, thank goodness, it’s a comedy. It’s so bad apparently, that it never even made it to DVD.
109. Hospital emergency units : TRAUMA CENTERS (hiding “mace”)
The fruit of the nutmeg tree yields two very different spices. What we call “nutmeg” comes from the seed of the tree. “Mace” is the dried covering of the seed.
114. Gillette Mach3 predecessor : ATRA
Fortunately for crossword constructors, the Atra was introduced by Gillette in 1977 as the first razor with a pivoting head. The Atra was sold as the Contour in some markets and its derivative products are still around today.
119. Earthy pigment : UMBER
Umber is an earthy, brown shade, and originally described a pigment made from earth found in Umbria, the region in central Italy. In its natural form, the pigment is referred to as “raw umber”. The heated form of the pigment has a more intense color and is known as “burnt umber”.
123. Mideast ruling family name : ASSAD
Dr. Bashar al-Assad is the current President of the Syrian Arab Republic and the son of the former President Hafez al-Assad whom he replaced in 2001. President Assad is a medical doctor, speaks fluent English and conversational French. Assad was studying ophthalmology in London when he met his wife, who is an Englishwoman.
128. Cheap cigar : STOGY
A “stogie” (also “stogy”) is both a “rough, heavy shoe” and a “long, cheap cigar”. Both items were favored by the drivers of the covered wagons called “Conestogas” that wended their way across the Midwest in days gone by. The term “stogie” is derived from the name of the wagon, which itself is named after the area in which the wagons were built: Conestoga, near Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
129. Company name that aptly begins with a periodic table symbol : ALCOA
The Aluminum Corporation of America (ALCOA) is the largest producer of aluminum in the United States. The company was founded in 1888 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where its headquarters are to this day.
130. It meant nothing to Ravel : RIEN
Maurice Ravel was a great French composer of the Romantic Era. Ravel’s most famous piece of music by far is his “Bolero”, the success of which he found somewhat irksome as he thought it to be a trivial work. Personally though, I love the minimalism and simplicity …
131. Descriptive dance : HULA
The “hula” is a native dance of Hawaii that uses arm movements to relate a story. The hula can be performed while sitting (a “noho” dance”) or while standing (a “luna” dance).
133. Lester’s bluegrass partner : EARL
Earl Scruggs and Lester Flatt are the musicians who founded the bluegrass band called the Foggy Mountain Boys in 1948.
135. Memphis middle name : ARON
Elvis Aron Presley (aka “the King”) was the younger of two identical twins. His brother was stillborn, delivered 35 minutes before Elvis. The brother was named Jesse Garon Presley. So, although born a twin, Elvis was raised as an only child.
2. Platte River people : OTOE
The Otoe (also Oto) Native American tribe originated in the Great Lakes region as part of the Winnebago or Siouan tribes. The group that would become the Otoe broke away from the Winnebago and migrated southwestwards ending up in the Great Plains. In the plains the Otoe adopted a semi-nomadic lifestyle dependent on the horse, with the American bison becoming central to their diet.
The Platte River used to be called the Nebrakier, which is an Oto word meaning “flat river”. Indeed, the state of Nebraska takes its name from “Nebrakier”. For a while it was also called the River Plate as “plate” is the French word “flat”. Later this became “Platte”, the phonetic spelling of the French “plate”.
4. Snockered : STINKO
“Snockered” and “stinko” are slang terms meaning “drunk”.
5. Droop-nosed flier : SST
The most famous Supersonic Transport (SST) was the Concorde, a plane that’s no longer flying. Concorde had that famous “droop nose”. The nose was moved to the horizontal position during flight to create the optimum aerodynamic shape thereby reducing drag. It was lowered during taxi, takeoff and landing, so that the pilot had better visibility. The need for the droop nose was driven largely by the delta-shaped wings. The delta wing necessitates a higher angle of attack at takeoff and landing than conventional wing designs, so the pilot needed the nose lowered so that he or she could see the ground.
6. Cymbals with a foot pedal : HI-HAT
In a drum kit, a hi-hat is a pairing of cymbals that sits on a stand and is played by using a foot pedal. The top cymbal is raised and lowered by the foot, hence creating a crashing sound.
8. 1912 Olympic legend : THORPE
The sports star Jim Thorpe was quite the all-rounder. He played professional football, baseball, and basketball, and also won Olympic golds in two other all-rounder events, the pentathlon and decathlon (in 1912). However, he lost his medals when it was revealed that he had been paid for playing baseball before the Games, and back then, amateur status was important to the Olympic governing body.
15. More than half of Israel : NEGEV
The Negev is a desert region in southern Israel. The largest city in the Negev is Beersheba. The Negev covers about 4,700 square miles, which is about 55% of Israel’s landmass.
16. Whence Icarus fled : CRETE
Daedalus was a master craftsman of Greek mythology who was tasked with creating the Labyrinth on the island of Crete that was to house the Minotaur. After the Labyrinth was completed, King Minos imprisoned Daedalus and his son Icarus in a tower, so that he could not spread word of his work. Daedalus fabricated wings so that he and Icarus could escape by flying off the island. Despite being warned by his father, Icarus flew too close to the sun so that the wax holding the wings’ feathers in place melted. Icarus drowned in the sea, and Daedalus escaped.
21. Garr of “Young Frankenstein” : TERI
The lovely Teri Garr had a whole host of minor roles in her youth, including appearances in nine Elvis movies. Garr’s big break came with the role of Inga in “Young Frankenstein”, and her supporting role in “Tootsie” earned Garr an Academy Award nomination. Sadly, Teri Garr suffers from multiple sclerosis. She is a National Ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
I am not really a big fan of movies by Mel Brooks, but “Young Frankenstein” is the exception. I think the cast has a lot to do with me liking the film, as it includes Gene Wilder (Dr. Frankenstein), Teri Garr (Inga), Marty Feldman (Igor) and Gene Hackman (Harold, the blind man).
25. Pinball problem : TILT
In a game of pinball, some players get an irresistible urge to “nudge” the machine . Such a nudge, a movement of the machine designed to influence the path taken by the ball, is called a “tilt”. Most pinball machines have sensors designed to detect a tilt, and when activated a “tilt” warning light comes on and the player’s controls are temporarily disabled.
30. Tan shades : ECRUS
The shade called ecru is a grayish, yellowish brown. The word “ecru” comes from French and means “raw, unbleached”. “Ecru” has the same roots as our word “crude”.
35. Wedding reception highlight : TOAST
The tradition of “toasting” someone probably dates back to the reign of Charles II, when the practice was to drink a glass of wine to the health of a beautiful or favored woman. In those days, spiced toast was added to beverages to add flavor, so the use of the word “toast” was an indicator that the lady’s beauty would enhance the wine. Very charming, I must say …
38. Diciembre follower : ENERO
In Spanish, “el año” (the year) starts in “enero” (January) and ends in “diciembre” (December).
39. 1944 loser to FDR : DEWEY
As well as being three-term governor of New York, Thomas E. Dewey twice ran as Republican candidate for president. He was defeated in both races, in 1944 and 1948. In 1944, Dewey lost to incumbent President Roosevelt, and in 1948 he lost to incumbent President Truman. “The Chicago Tribune” called the latter incorrectly and ran that famous headline “DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN”. Dewey didn’t run for president in 1952 but did help General Eisenhower get the nomination, and ultimately secure the White House. If you drive along the New York State Thruway, you’ll see Dewey’s name a lot, as the highway is named in his honor.
40. “Death in Venice” author : MANN
Thomas Mann was a German novelist whose most famous work is probably his novella “Death in Venice”. That book published originally in German in 1912 as “Der Tod in Venedig”. The story was famously adapted for the big screen in 1971, in a movie starring Dirk Bogarde.
48. Congers : EELS
Conger eels can grow to be very, very large, perhaps up to 10 feet in length.
49. French possessive : A TOI
“À toi” is the French term for “yours”, when talking to someone with whom one is familiar. “À toi” literally means “to you”.
52. “A Tiger Walks” star : SABU
Sabu Dastagir was an actor from India who made several films in Britain and America during the thirties and forties. Sabu (he was often known just by the one name) first appeared in the 1937 British film “Elephant Boy”, playing a young elephant driver. He made more British films over the next few years, including “The Thief of Baghdad” in 1940 and the 1942 version of “The Jungle book”. Sabu moved to Hollywood and became a US citizen in 1944. He joined the US Army Air Forces and served as a tail gunner in the Pacific, eventually winning the Distinguished Flying Cross for valor and bravery. Sadly, in 1963 Sabu died of a heart attack, at only 39 years of age.
“A Tiger Walks” is a 1964 film from Disney studios about a mistreated tiger that escapes from a circus and hides out in the hinterland of a small town.
53. Yemeni seaport : ADEN
Aden is a seaport in Yemen, located on the Gulf of Aden by the eastern approach to the Red Sea. Aden has a long history of British rule, from 1838 until a very messy withdrawal in 1967. A native of Aden is known as an Adeni. Some believe that Cain and Abel are buried in the city.
55. “What You Need” rockers : INXS
INXS (pronounced “in excess”) was a rock band from Australia. The band formed in 1977 in Sydney as the Farriss Brothers, as three of the original lineups were indeed brothers.
57. Hullabaloo : BROUHAHA
“Brouhaha”, meaning “ado, stir”, was a French word that back in the 1550s meant “the cry of the devil disguised as clergy” . Wow!
64. Draw a bead on, with “at” : AIM
To draw a bead on something is to take aim at it. The “bead” in question is the front sight of a gun.
66. Chow down : EAT
“Chow” is an American slang term for food that originated in California in the mid-1800s. “Chow” comes from the Chinese pidgin English “chow-chow” meaning “food”.
71. First name in skin care : ESTEE
Estée Lauder was a very successful businesswoman, with a reputation as a great salesperson. Lauder introduced her own line of fragrances in 1953, a bath oil called “Youth Dew”. “Youth Dew” was marketed as a perfume, but it was added to bathwater. All of a sudden women were pouring whole bottles of Ms. Lauder’s “perfume” into their baths while using only a drop or two of French perfumes behind their ears. That’s quite a difference in sales volume …
72. Andean capital : LIMA
Lima is the capital city of Peru. Lima was founded in 1535 by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro, who named it “la Ciudad de los Reyes” (the City of Kings). He chose this name because the decision to found the city was made on January 6th, the feast of the Epiphany that commemorates the visit of the three kings to Jesus in Bethlehem.
73. Founding member of pro soccer’s Washington Freedom : HAMM
Mia Hamm is a retired American soccer player, a forward who played on the US national team that won the FIFA women’s World Cup in 1991. Hamm has scored 158 international goals, more than other player in the world, male or female. Amazingly, Hamm was born with a clubfoot, and so had to wear corrective shoes when she was growing up.
The Washington Freedom was a women’s professional soccer club based in the D.C. area. Founded in the nation’s capital in 2001, the team relocated to Boca Raton, Florida in 2011 and became magicJack (named for a phone tech company).
75. “__Cop” : ROBO
“RoboCop” is a film that was released in 1987, starring Peter Weller in the title role. Weller wore a very impressive “robot” suit for the film, the most expensive item on the set, costing over a million dollars. Weller would lose three pounds a day in sweat alone as temperatures inside the suit went to over 100 degrees F.
77. A/C units : BTUS
In the world of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), the power of a heating or cooling unit can be measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). This dated unit is the amount of energy required to heat a pound of water so that the water’s temperature increases by one degree Fahrenheit.
83. Food service giant : SYSCO
It’s hard to drive down any highway in the US without coming across a Sysco truck. It really is a huge company, the largest food service enterprise in the country. “Sysco” is an abbreviation for Systems and Services Company.
88. Bridge ancestor : WHIST
Whist is an English card game that involves the taking of tricks. Whist is a derivative of the earlier game of Trump or Ruff that was played in the 16th century. Back in Ireland, where I come from, whist tournaments are extremely popular and are known as “whist drives”.
90. Space travel meas. : LT YR
A light-year (lt. yr.) is a measure of distance, not time. It is the distance that light travels in a vacuum in one year. The accepted abbreviation for a light-year is “ly”. A light-second is a lot shorter distance: about 186,282 miles.
96. Royals manager Ned : YOST
Ned Yost is the manager of the Kansas City Royals, and a former Major League Baseball catcher. Yost played baseball at high school in Dublin, California, just a few miles from where I am now right now.
99. One of the Balearic Islands : MINORCA
The island of Minorca in the Mediterranean takes its name from the larger neighboring island of Majorca. The names come from the Latin “Insula Minor” meaning “Minor Island” and “Insula Major” meaning “Major Island”. The island is known as “Minorca” in English, and “Menorca” in Spanish and Catalan.
The Balearic Islands (“Baleares” in Spanish) form an archipelago in the western Mediterranean of the east coast of Spain. The Balearics are made up up four main islands: Ibiza and Formentera (aka “the Pine Islands”), Majorca and Minorca.
108. Steinway competitor : YAMAHA
The Japanese company Yamaha started out way back in 1888 as a manufacturer of pianos and reed organs. Even though the company has diversified since then, Yamaha’s logo still reflects it musical roots. Even on Yamaha motorcycles you can see a logo made up of three intersecting tuning forks.
Steinway & Sons is supplier of handmade pianos based in New York City and in Hamburg, Germany. The company was founded in Manhattan in 1853 by German immigrant Henry E. Steinway. One element of Steinway’s business model is to offer a “piano bank” service. Performing artists can “borrow” a particular piano from the bank for a particular concert or tour. About 400 pianos are in the bank, and are located over the world. The value of the bank’s collection of pianos is estimated at over $25 million.
111. Legendary fabulist : AESOP
Aesop is remembered today as a fabulist, a writer of fables. Aesop lived in Ancient Greece, probably around the sixth century BC. Supposedly he was born a slave, somehow became a free man, but then met with a sorry end. Aesop was sent to the city of Delphi on a diplomatic mission but instead insulted the Delphians. He was tried on a trumped-up charge of stealing from a temple, sentenced to death and was thrown off a cliff.
112. Nightclub of song : COPA
The Copacabana of song is the Copacabana nightclub in New York City (which is also the subject of the Frank Sinatra song “Meet Me at the Copa”). The Copa opened in 1940 and is still going today although it is struggling. The club had to move due to impending construction and is now “sharing” a location with the Columbus 72 nightclub.
Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl
With yellow feathers in her hair and a dress cut down to there
She would merengue and do the cha-cha
And while she tried to be a star
Tony always tended bar
Across the crowded floor, they worked from 8 til 4
They were young and they had each other
Who could ask for more?
114. Holmes adversary Irene : ADLER
The character Irene Adler only appeared in one of the Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In that story, “A Scandal in Bohemia”, Holmes expresses remarkable admiration for Adler as a woman and as a foe. As a result, derivative works in the Holmes genre often feature Adler as something of a romantic interest for Sherlock.
118. Director Kazan : ELIA
Elia Kazan won Oscars for best director in 1948 for “Gentleman’s Agreement” and in 1955 for “On The Waterfront”. In 1999 Kazan was given an Academy Lifetime Achievement Award. He also directed “East of Eden”, which introduced James Dean to movie audiences, and “Splendor in the Grass” that included Warren Beatty in his debut role.
121. Eliza’s greeting : ‘ELLO
Eliza Doolittle is Professor Henry Higgins’ speech student in George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion”. “Pygmalion” was adapted by Lerner and Loewe to become the Broadway musical “My Fair Lady”. The musical spun off the wonderful 1964 film of the same name starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison. To cockney Eliza Doolittle, Professor Henry Higgins was “‘Enry ‘Iggins”.
122. House Speaker after Boehner : RYAN
Paul Ryan was the Republican nominee for Vice President in the 2012 election, on the ticket with Mitt Romney. Ryan was elected as Speaker of the House of Representatives in 2015 after John Boehner resigned. At 45, Ryan then became the youngest Speaker since 1875. Off the political stage, Ryan is famous for his fitness regime. He has shared that much of his motivation to work out and to watch his diet is because there is a history of heart attacks at an early age in his family.
John Boehner elected Leader of the House of Representatives in 2011, and was the House Minority Leader from 2007 to 2011. Boehner is from Reading, Ohio and grew up in modest circumstances in a two-bedroom house with eleven siblings. After Boehner graduated from university in 1977, he joined a small packaging and plastics business. By the time he resigned to serve in Congress, Boehner had risen to become president of the company.
126. Yellow Sea peninsula: Abbr. : KOR
Korea was occupied by the Japanese military from 1910 until Japan surrendered at the end of WWII in 1945. While the UN was working towards a trusteeship administration for Korea, the Soviet Union managed the Korean Peninsula north of the 38th parallel and the US managed the south. The UN’s plans came to naught as the Cold War dictated the establishment of the two separate states of North Korea and South Korea. North Korea invaded the South in 1950, leading to the Korean War. After three years of fighting, the border between the two states became the demarcation line between the two military forces on the day the Armistice Agreement was signed. That line runs diagonally across the 38th parallel, and is better known as the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).
The Yellow Sea is the northern part of the East China Sea, and is located between the Korean peninsula and China. The water surface does indeed take on a golden yellow hue at times when it picks up sand particles from sand storms in the Gobi Desert, which lies to the west of the Yellow Sea.
127. Nav. rank : ENS
Ensign is (usually) the most junior rank of commissioned officer in the armed forces. The name comes from the tradition that the junior officer would be given the task of carrying the ensign flag.