Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers all have the same clue, namely “Strike site”.
- 18A…Strike site..FRONT LINE
- 27A…Strike site..BASEBALL PARK
- 47A…Strike site..BOWLING ALLEY
- 60A…Strike site..UNION SHOP
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
9…Fur fighters, initially..PETA
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is a very large animal rights organization, with 300 employees and two million members and supporters worldwide. Although the group campaigns for animal rights across a broad spectrum of issues, it has a stated focus in opposition of four practices:
- Factory farming
- Fur farming
- Animal testing
- Use of animals in entertainment
Slush Puppie and ICEE are brands of frozen, slushy drinks. Ostensibly competing brands, ICEE company now owns the Slush Puppie brand.
A “lumberjack” is a logger, one harvesting and transporting trees to mills. As one might perhaps imagine, “lumberjack” was originally a Canadian term.
17…”Lone Survivor” actor Hirsch..EMILE
Emile Hirsch is an actor from Topanga, California. Hirsch’s most famous role was the lead in the 2007 drama “Into the Wild”.
“Lone Survivor” is a 2013 war film starring Mark Wahlberg as a US Navy SEAL who is the only survivor from a 4-man team in a mission in Afghanistan. The film is based on a 2007 book that recounts the real-life experience of Marcus Luttrell and the comrades that he lost on that mission. It’s a powerful movie …
20…LBJ, for one..DEM
Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) was born in Stonewall, Texas to Samuel Ealy Johnson, Jr. and Rebekah Baines.
The Avenue des Champs-Élysées is one of the most famous streets in the world. It is the main thoroughfare in Paris, home to the Arc de Triomphe and the Place de la Concorde. The name “Champs-Élysées” is French for Elysian Fields, a place where the righteous went after death according to Greek mythology.
23…Shady garden denizen..HOSTA
The Hosta genus of plant was once classified as a lily, but is now in a family of its own and is described as “lily-like”. The plant was given the name “Hosta” in honor of the Austrian botanist Nicholas Thomas Host.
30…Signature scent since 1968..ESTEE
“Estée” is the signature fragrance from the Estée Lauder Company. “Estée” was the second fragrance developed by Estée Lauder herself, and was introduced in 1968. Lauder’s first fragrance was “Youth Dew”, introduced in 1953.
31…Place for an anvil..EAR
The middle ear is the portion of the ear immediately behind the eardrum. The middle ear contains three small bones called the ossicles, the three smallest bones in the human body. The ossicles’ job is to transmit sound from the outer ear to the inner ear. The shape of the bones gives rise to their names: the hammer (malleus), anvil (incus) and stirrup (stapes).
32…Works at Museo del Prado..ARTE
The Museo del Prado is in Madrid, the capital of Spain, and has one of the finest art collections in the world. The gallery’s most famous work is “Las Meninas” By Velazquez.
Seagoing vessels are traditionally referred to as female.
37…Company with a crocodile logo..LACOSTE
René Lacoste was a French tennis player who went into the clothing business, and came up with a more comfortable shirt that players could use. This became known as a “tennis shirt”. When it was adopted for use in the sport of polo, the shirts also became known as “polo shirts”. And then the “golf shirt” is basically the same thing.
Earned run average (ERA)
42…Banks on some magazine covers..TYRA
Tyra Banks is a tremendously successful model and businesswoman. Banks created and hosts the hit show “America’s Next Top Model “, and also has her own talk show. She was also the first African American woman to make the cover of the “Sports Illustrated” swimsuit issue.
I’ve always thought Ian Woosnam to be the most unlikely-looking of golfers. He is just over 5’ 4” tall and yet is noted as a very powerful hitter of the ball. Woosnam is a Welshman, and was ranked the world’s number one golfer for most of 1991.
To lace a drink, is to spike it, by adding perhaps some alcohol or other strong substance.
51…Insect that may live for 17 years..CICADA
Cicadas are insects that are found all over the world. Although they resemble locusts, cicadas are an unrelated family. The name “cicada” is Latin and translated as “tree cricket”. However, the name is imitative of the clicking sound the insect makes using parts of its exoskeleton known as “tymbals”.
54…Live-in helper..AU PAIR
An “au pair” is a domestic assistant from a foreign country working and living as part of a host family. The term “au pair” is French, and means “on a par”, indicating that an au pair is treated as an equal in the host family.
American psychologist Rollo May wrote the influential 1969 book “Love and Will”. In the text, May proposes that awareness of death is essential to life.
58…Peeples of “Walker, Texas Ranger”..NIA
Actress Nia Peeples played the character Nicole Chapman in the TV series “Fame”. Peeples is also a successful singer, releasing the 1988 song “Trouble” that made it to #35 in the Billboard charts.
“Walker, Texas Ranger” is an action TV show starring Chuck Norris in the title role. The TV show was inspired by the 1983 action movie “Lone Wolf McQuade” in which Norris also played a Texas Ranger.
64…Vikings’ home: Abbr…MINN
The Minnesota Vikings joined the NFL as an expansion team in 1960. Founded in Minnesota, the team’s name reflects the location’s reputation as a center of Scandinavian American culture.
A “dirge” is a slow and mournful musical piece, like a funeral hymn.
Semester is a German word from the Latin “semestris”, an adjective meaning “of six months”. We use the term in a system that divides an academic year into two roughly equal parts. A trimester system has three parts, and a quarter system has four.
In French, one might season one’s food with “sel” (salt) and “poivre” (pepper).
5…Statue of Liberty architect..EIFFEL
The Statue of Liberty was a gift from the people of France to the United States. It was designed by sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and constructed in France by civil engineer Gustave Eiffel. The statue was disassembled, shipped to the US, and reassembled on its pedestal on Bedloe’s Island (now “Liberty Island). A ceremony of dedication was held in 1886. If you take a boat ride down the Seine in Paris you will probably see a one-third replica of Lady Liberty standing on a small island in the river, looking quite magnificent. That copy was given to the people of Paris by the city’s American community in 1889.
A male turkey is called a “tom”, taking its name from a “tomcat”. The inference is that like a tomcat, the male turkey is relatively wild and undomesticated, sexually promiscuous and frequently getting into fights. A female turkey is called a “hen”.
The word “palooka” was originally used to describe a mediocre prizefighter and dates back to the 1920s. Then there was a comic strip called “Joe Palooka”, and I guess the meanings got melded somehow. Today we use “palooka” as a slang term for an oaf or a clumsy person.
11…Mahler’s last symphony..TENTH
When Gustav Mahler died in 1911, he left his final work unfinished. The “Symphony No. 10” was relatively complete, in the form of a draft, but was not orchestrated. Several composers have “completed” the work, most notably British musician Deryck Cooke in the sixties.
The “phon” is a unit used to indicate a person’s perception of the loudness of a sound, and is a subjective measure. The related “decibel” is a logarithmic unit measuring objective sound intensity.
19…God with a hammer..THOR
The hammer associated with the Norse god Thor is known as Mjölnir. The name “Mjölnir” translates as “crusher”.
22…Co-star of Burt in “The Killers”..AVA
Ava Gardner is noted for her association with some big movies, but also for her association with some big names when it came to the men in her life. In the world of film, she appeared in the likes of “Mogambo” (1953), “On the Beach” (1959), “The Night of the Iguana” (1964) and “Earthquake” (1974). The men in her life included husbands Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw and Frank Sinatra. After her marriages had failed (and perhaps before!) she had long-term relationships with Howard Hughes and bullfighter Luis Miguel Dominguin whom she met through her friend Ernest Hemingway.
Burt Lancaster was a Hollywood movie star from New York City. Lancaster started out his performance career working as an acrobat with the Kay Brothers circus, but had to retire from the Big Top due to injury. After serving as an entertainer with the US Army during WWII, he took up acting in New York, where he was discovered by a Hollywood agent and started his film career. Lancaster was often cast as a good-looking tough guy, but I personally preferred the movies in which he played the more off-beat roles, e.g. “Separate Tables” (1958), “Judgement at Nuremberg” (1961), “Birdman of Alcatraz” (1962) and “Local Hero” (1983).
“The Killers” is a film noir based on a short story of the same name by Ernest Hemingway. The film stars Ava Gardner, as well as Burt Lancaster in his big-screen debut.
Nelle Harper Lee was an author from Monroeville, Alabama. For many years, Lee had only one published novel to her name. That is a “To Kill a Mockingbird”, a contribution to the world of literature was enough to earn her the Presidential Medal of Freedom and a Pulitzer Prize. Harper Lee was a close friend of fellow author Truman Capote who was the inspiration for the character named “Dill” in her novel. Lee was all over the news in 2015 as she had published a second novel, titled “Go Set a Watchman”. The experts seem to be agreeing that “Go Set a Watchman” is actually a first draft of “To Kill a Mockingbird”. Lee passed away less than a year after “Go Set a Watchman” hit the stores.
26…D.C. : Metro :: S.F. : __..BART
Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) serves the San Francisco Bay Area.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) provides transit service within and around Washington, D.C. The service generally goes by the name “Metro”. The authority’s two main services are Metrorail and Metrobus.
Something described as “nonpareil” has no equal, is a paragon. “Nonpareil” was an Old French word meaning “not equal”.
28…Téa of “Madam Secretary”..LEONI
Téa Leoni is an American actress. One of Leoni’s early parts was in the great film “A League of Their Own” (a minor role, Racine at first base). She also played Sam Malone’s fiancée on “Cheers” and opposite Adam Sandler in “Spanglish”. My favorite of her more prominent movie roles was as Jane in “Fun with Dick and Jane”. Leoni is now playing the title role in the drama series “Madam Secretary”, a show that I really enjoy …
“Madam Secretary” is TV show that first aired in 2014. It is about an ex-CIA analyst who is appointed as US Secretary of State. Téa Leoni plays the title role, ably supported by a favorite actress of mine, Bebe Neuwirth. I like this show …
Strasbourg is a beautiful city that I had the privilege to visit some years ago. Strasbourg is home to many international organizations, including the European Court of Human Rights and the European Parliament.
33…They’re often found in dens..RECLINERS
The first reclining chairs were introduced around 1850 in France. Supposedly, the first reclining chair was owned by Napoleon III.
34…Forest age indicators..TREE RINGS
Growth rings can be seen in a horizontal cross section of a tree trunk. These rings are caused by a change in the rate of a growth of a tree that comes with the seasons, so the rings are more easily discerned in trees that grow in regions with marked seasonal changes.
The origins of the phrase “duck soup”, meaning anything easily done, aren’t very clear. However, it does at least date back to 1908.
38…Electronics brand relaunched in 2015..AIWA
Aiwa was a Japanese company that produced consumer electronics, mainly audio and video equipment. Sony bought Aiwa in 2002 and eventually discontinued the brand in 2006. The Aiwa trademark was acquired by a Chicago-based consumer electronics company in 2015.
39…19-time All-Star Ripken..CAL
Cal Ripken played his entire, 20-year professional baseball career for the Baltimore Orioles. Ripken was known as the “Iron Man” because he showed up for work every day, come rain or shine. He played 2,632 straight games, blowing past the previous 2,130-game record held by Lou Gehrig.
The large edible sea snails that we call abalone are called ormer in the British Isles, and is served as “awabi” at a sushi bar. The abalone shell resembles a human ear, giving rise to the alternative names “ear shell” and “sea ear”.
46…__ carte..A LA
On a restaurant menu, items that are “à la carte” are priced and ordered separately. A menu marked “table d’hôte” (also called “prix fixe”) is a fixed-price menu with limited choice.
51…Bit of Hansel’s trail..CRUMB
“Hansel and Gretel” is a Germanic fairy tale found in the collection of the Brothers Grimm. It tells of two siblings, Hansel and Gretel, the children of a woodcutter. The youngsters are abandoned in a forest at the behest of an evil stepmother. Clever Hansel hears of the plan and leaves a trail of pebbles so that he and his sister can find their way home, which they do. But the children are abandoned again and this time leave a trail of breadcrumbs. Unfortunately, the crumbs are eaten by birds and so the children do indeed become lost. But eventually they do all live happily ever after …
52…Land of ancient Asia Minor..IONIA
The geographic region called Ionia is located in present day Turkey. Ionia was prominent in the days of Ancient Greece although it wasn’t a unified state, but rather a collection of tribes. The tribal confederacy was more based on religious and cultural similarities than a political or military alliance. Nowadays we often refer to this arrangement as the Ionian League.
Asia Minor is also known as Anatolia. It is the geographic part of Asia that protrudes out into the west, towards Europe, and is roughly equivalent to modern-day Turkey.
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 …
61…Good name for a cook?..STU
… because “Stu” sounds like “stew”.
Guacamole is one of my favorite dishes. It is made by mashing avocados and perhaps adding the likes of tomato, onion and lime juice. The guacamole recipe dates back as early as the 16th century, to the time of the Aztecs. “Guacamole” translates as “avocado sauce”.