Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answer are all written in the down-direction. Each includes the hidden word ANTE, written in THE UP-direction:
- 34D…Raise stakes in a game … and a hint to a hidden feature of five Down puzzle answers..UP THE ANTE
- 3D…Europe’s highest active volcano..MOUNT ETNA
- 5D…Cold War Baltic patrollers..SOVIET NAVY
- 10D…”The Deer Hunter” setting..VIETNAM
- 30D…Green sign information, traditionally..STREET NAME
- 43D…Wings eaters’ needs..WET-NAPS
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1…It’s often a stretch..LIMO
The word “limousine” actually derives from the French city of Limoges. The area around Limoges is called the Limousin, and it gave its name to a cloak hood worn by local shepherds. In early motor cars, a driver would sit outside in the weather while the passengers would sit in the covered compartment. The driver would often wear a limousin-style protective hood, giving rise to that type of transportation being called a “limousine”. Well, that’s how the story goes anyway …
10…Debit card choice..VISA
Visa doesn’t actually issue any credit or debit cards. Visa just sells the electronic systems and infrastructure to banks who then put the Visa logo on their own cards. And so, both the customer and merchant know to use the VISA system when making a transaction.
“Tyke” has been used playfully to describe a young child since at least 1902, but for centuries before that a tyke was a cur or mongrel, or perhaps a lazy or lower-class man.
18…One out for blood..VAMPIRE BAT
Vampire bats feed mostly in the blood of mammals, including humans. When they find a suitable “victim”, often one that is asleep, the bat usually lands close by and approaches its “meal” on the ground. It makes a small cut with its razor-sharp teeth and laps up the blood. The blood tends to flow freely as the bat’s saliva contains anticoagulants. Reports of bats biting the neck of humans are very rare in the real world, but the neck is the preferred location of attack in the fantasy world of vampires.
Rattan is the name of a large number of species of palms, all of which look less like trees and more like vines. The woody stems are used for making cane furniture.
38…Babies, or what some babies wear..PAMPERS
Pampers is a Procter & Gamble brand of disposable diaper for babies and toddlers that was introduced in 1961.
42…Kentucky Fried side..SLAW
The term “coleslaw” is an Anglicized version of the Dutch name “koolsla”, which in itself is a shortened form of “Koolsalade” meaning “cabbage salad”.
The famous “Colonel” of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame was Harland Sanders, an entrepreneur from Henryville, Indiana. Although not really a “Colonel”, Sanders did indeed serve in the military. He enlisted in the Army as a private in 1906 at the age of 16, lying about his age. He spent the whole of his time in the Army as a soldier in Cuba. It was much later, in the 1930s, that Sanders went into the restaurant business making his specialty deep-fried chicken. By 1935 his reputation as a “character” had grown, so much so that Governor Ruby Laffoon of Kentucky gave Sanders the honorary title of “Kentucky Colonel”. Later in the fifties, Sanders developed his trademark look with the white suit, string tie, mustache and goatee. When Sanders was 65 however, his business failed and in stepped Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy’s. Thomas simplified the Sanders menu, cutting it back from over a hundred items to just fried chicken and salads. That was enough to launch KFC into the fast food business. Sanders sold the US franchise in 1964 for just $2 million and moved to Canada to grow KFC north of the border. He died in 1980 and is buried in Louisville, Kentucky. The Colonel’s secret recipe of 11 herbs and spices is indeed a trade secret. Apparently there is only one copy of the recipe, a handwritten piece of paper, written in pencil and signed by Colonel Sanders. Since 2009, the piece of paper has been locked in a computerized vault surrounded with motion detectors and security cameras.
47…Irish New Age singer..ENYA
Enya’s real name is Eithne Ní Bhraonáin, which can translate from Irish into Enya Brennan. Her Donegal family (in the northwest of Ireland) formed a band called Clannad, which included Enya. In 1980 Enya launched her very successful solo career, eventually becoming Ireland’s best-selling solo musician. And, she sure does turn up a lot in crosswords!
New-Age music is created to provide a relaxing and stress-free atmosphere. The New Age movement is often said to have begun with the release of an album called “Spectrum Suite” by Steven Halpern in 1975.
Agate is a micro-crystalline form of quartz (so is related to sand/silica). Some agate samples have deposited layers that give a striped appearance, and these are called “banded agate”.
57…Brooke Baldwin’s network..CNN
Brooke Baldwin is a TV journalist and news anchor. Anyone watching CNN’s coverage of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee celebration in 2012 would have seen Baldwin hosting alongside Piers Morgan.
58…Auto parts giant..NAPA
The National Automotive Parts Association (NAPA) is a retailers’ cooperative that supplies replacement parts for cars and trucks.
61…Pearl Harbor battleship..USS ARIZONA
The USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor sits across the sunken hull of the battleship, the resting place of 1,102 out of 1,117 sailors of the Arizona who were killed during the 1941 attack. After the attack, the superstructure of the Arizona protruded above the surface of the water. This was removed during and after WWII, leaving just a submerged hull. The memorial itself was approved by President Eisenhower in 1958, and the building was opened in 1962. In 1999, the battleship USS Missouri was permanently moored in Pearl Harbor, docked nearby and perpendicular to the Arizona. It was on the Missouri that the Japanese surrendered, marking the end of WWII.
63…Third-generation Genesis name..ENOS
Enos was the son of Seth, and therefore the grandson of Adam and Eve. According to the ancient Jewish work called the Book of Jubilees, Enos married his own sister Noam.
65…Capital on the Willamette..SALEM
Salem is the state capital of Oregon. It is thought that the city takes its name from the older city of Salem, Massachusetts.
The Willamette River in northwestern Oregon is a major tributary of the Columbia River. The Willamette flows through the state capital of Salem, as well as through Portland, Oregon’s largest city.
Geological time is divided into a number of units of varying lengths. These are, starting from the largest:
- eon (also “aeon”)
3…Europe’s highest active volcano..MOUNT ETNA
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.
5…Cold War Baltic patrollers..SOVIET NAVY
The Baltic is a sea in northern Europe that is much less saline than the oceans. The lower amount of salt in the Baltic partially explains why almost half of the sea freezes over during the winter. In fact, the Baltic has been known to completely freeze over several times over the past few centuries.
9…Angel who replaced Jill, in ’70s TV..KRIS
In the fun TV show from the late seventies and early eighties, “Charlie’s Angels”, Farrah Fawcett-Majors played Jill Munroe. When Fawcett-Majors decided to move on from the show, a new character was introduced to fill her spot, her younger sister, Kris Munroe, played by Cheryl Ladd.
10…”The Deer Hunter” setting..VIETNAM
“The Deer Hunter” is a disturbing 1978 movie about three Russian Americans from Pennsylvania, and their time in the military during the Vietnam War. The “game” of Russian Roulette features prominently in the film’s storyline. According to director Michael Cimino, Robert de Niro requested that a live cartridge be loaded in the gun during the main Russian Roulette scene, to heighten the intensity of the atmosphere. Cimino agreed, although he was quite obsessive about ensuring that for each take, the bullet wasn’t next in the chamber.
“To imbue” is to pervade, to soak in. “Imbue” has the same etymological roots as our word “imbibe”.
Apparently, most aster species and cultivars bloom relatively late in the year, usually in the fall.
In the world of ballet, to perform an “entrechat” a dancer jumps into the air and rapidly crosses the legs before and behind.
25…Call at home..SAFE
That would be in baseball.
27…Lover of Psyche..EROS
In the myth of Cupid (aka Eros) and Psyche, the two title characters must overcome many obstacles to fulfill their love for each other. Overcome them they do, and the pair marry and enjoy immortal love.
A yawl is a two-masted sailing vessel. There is a main mast forward, and a smaller mizzen mast close to the stern. A yawl is similar to a ketch, in that both rigs have two masts. The mizzen mast is forward of the rudderpost in a ketch, and after of the rudderpost in a yawl.
36…Cop to the crime, with “up”..FESS
The term “fess” is most often seen as part of the phrasal verb “to fess up” meaning “to admit to something”. “Fess” is simply a shortened form of “confess”.
43…Wings eaters’ needs..WET-NAPS
“Wet nap” is a term commonly used for a “wet wipe”, a manufactured paper tissues that comes pre-moistened. They are often provided after a meal at some restaurants after a finger-food dish, or perhaps as a refresher on an airplane. I think the “nap” is short of “napkin”, and that “Wet-Nap” is a brand name.
“Gusto” is an Italian word meaning “taste”. We use it in English in the phrase “with gusto”, with great enjoyment.
54…USDA inspector’s concern..E COLI
Escherichia coli (E. coli) are usually harmless bacteria found in the human gut, working away quite happily. However, there are some strains that can produce lethal toxins. These strains can make their way into the food chain from animal fecal matter that comes into contact with food designated for human consumption.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) actually dates back to 1862 when it was established by then-president Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln referred to the USDA as the “people’s department” as our economy had such a vast agrarian base back then.
The asp is a venomous snake found in the Nile region of Africa. It is so venomous that the asp was used in ancient Egypt and Greece as a means of execution. Cleopatra observed such executions noting that the venom brought on sleepiness without any painful spasms. When the great queen opted to commit suicide, the asp was therefore her chosen method.
I always “zap” the commercials …