Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers need the words NUMBER ONE added in order to make sense:
- 35A. Words needed to complete four puzzle answers : NUMBER ONE
- 17A. Prioritizes self-interest : LOOKS OUT FOR (number one)
- 34A. Championship team cheer : WE’RE (number one!)
- 38A. “Let’s Make a Deal” choice : DOOR (number one)
- 58A. Object of a serious hunt : PUBLIC ENEMY (number one)
Bill’s errors: 2
- AVISO (eviso)
- SAL SODA (sel soda)
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Smelling __ : SALTS
The active ingredient in smelling salts is usually ammonium carbonate, which releases ammonia gas when mixed with alcohol. When the activated salts are held under the nose, the ammonia irritates the mucous membranes causing an inhalation reflex action.
6. Olympic racers : LUGES
A luge is a small sled used by one or two people, on which one lies face up and feet first. The luge can be compared to the skeleton, a sled for only one person and on which the rider lies face down and goes down the hill head-first. Yikes!
11. Paving goo : TAR
The terms “Tarmac” and “macadam” are short for “tarmacadam”. In the 1800s, Scotsman John Loudon McAdam developed a style of road known as “macadam”. Macadam had a top-layer of crushed stone and gravel laid over larger stones. The macadam also had a convex cross-section so that water tended to drain to the sides. In 1901, a significant improvement was made by English engineer Edgar Purnell Hooley who introduced tar into the macadam, improving the resistance to water damage and practically eliminating dust. The “tar-penetration macadam” is the basis of what we now call Tarmac.
14. Dispatch boat : AVISO
A dispatch boat is a military vessel designed to carry dispatches to and from ships. In the French navy, a dispatch boat is called an aviso. Nowadays of course, the need for dispatch boats has disappeared, but avisos still exist and are a class of combat vessel usually used in the defense of a coast against encroachment by enemies.
16. Missile from Venus? : ACE
Venus Williams is the older of the two Williams sisters playing professional tennis. In 2002, Williams became the first African-American woman to earn the World No. 1 ranking by the Women’s Tennis Association in the Open Era.
24. Nicholas and Peter : TSARS
The term “czar” (also tsar) is a Slavic word that was first used as a title by Simeon I of Bulgaria in 913 AD. “Czar” is derived from the word “Caesar”, which was synonymous with “emperor” at that time.
26. Buck : CLAM
“Buck” and “clam” are both slang terms for “a dollar”. The term “buck” has been around at least since 1856, and is thought to derive from the tradition of using buckskin as a unit of trade with Native Americans during the frontier days. It has been suggested that “clam” has a similar derivation, a throwback to the supposed use of clams as units of currency in ancient cultures.
38. “Let’s Make a Deal” choice : DOOR (number one)
The game show “Let’s Make a Deal” first aired way back in 1963. For many years the show was hosted by Monty Hall, from 1963 until 1986, and again briefly in 1991. In more recent years, Wayne Brady took over as host in 2009.
40. Square placed on a square board : TILE
50. Bygone “SNL” rival : MADTV
“MADtv” is a television sketch show that ran for fourteen seasons starting in 1995. The show had nothing to do with the famous “Mad” magazine, although it did license the name and logo from the publication.
52. “At Last” singer James : ETTA
Etta James was best known for her beautiful rendition of the song “At Last”. Sadly, as she disclosed in her autobiography, James lived a life that was ravaged by drug addiction leading to numerous legal and health problems. Ms. James passed away in January 2012 having suffered from leukemia.
53. “Timecop” star : VAN DAMME
Jean-Claude Van Damme is a Belgian actor and expert in martial arts. Given his background, he is referred to by the nickname “The Muscles from Brussels”.
“Timecop” is an entertaining sci-fi movie released in 1994, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme as US federal agent who tracks down criminals with the aid of time travel.
55. Diamond mine? : I GOT IT!
That would be a call made on a baseball diamond.
60. “Evil Woman” band : ELO
The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) recorded the song “Evil Woman” in 1975. “Evil Woman” was written by the band’s lead vocalist Jeff Lynne, in just thirty minutes!
61. __ Gay : ENOLA
The Enola Gay was the B-29 that dropped the first atomic bomb, on Hiroshima in August 1945. Enola Gay was the name of the mother of pilot Col. Paul W. Tibbets, Jr.
65. Vermouth bottle name : ROSSI
The company that is today known as Martini & Rossi was started in the mid-1800s in Italy, by Alessandro Martini and Luigi Rossi (and a third partner who sold out years later). From day one it was focused on bottling the fortified wine known as vermouth. Nowadays, the company is also famous for its sparkling wines, and its sponsorship of Grand Prix racing teams. And yes, the famous cocktail is probably named for Mr. Martini.
1. Grill-cleaning solution : SAL SODA
Sodium carbonate is a well known as a water softener sold for use in laundry, and is variously described as Sal Soda, Washing Soda and Soda Crystals.
3. Nala, notably : LIONESS
In “The Lion King”, Nala is a lioness and the childhood friend of Simba. By the end of the story, Nala and Simba become wedded. “The Lion King” is inspired by William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, with Simba representing the title character, and Nala representing Hamlet’s love interest Ophelia.
5. McGwire’s 1998 rival : SOSA
Sammy Sosa was firmly in the public eye in 1998 when he and Mark McGwire were vying to be the first to surpass the home run record held by Roger Maris. McGwire fell out of public favor due to stories of steroid abuse (stories which he later admitted were true) while Sosa fell out of favor when he was found to be using a corked bat in a 2003 game.
6. Sch. with a live tiger mascot : LSU
The LSU Tigers are the sports teams of Louisiana State University (LSU). They are officially known as the Fightin’ Tigers, and the school mascot is “Mike the Tiger”. The name comes from the days of the Civil War, when two Louisiana brigades earned the nickname the “Louisiana Tigers”. Given the French/Cajun history of Louisiana, the LSU fans use the cheer “Geaux Tigers” instead of “Go Tigers”.
7. UHF component : ULTRA
The radio spectrum is divided into bands based on frequency. “High band” is composed of relatively high frequency values, and “low band” is composed of frequencies that are relatively low. FM radio falls into the band called Very High Frequency, or VHF. Television signals use frequencies even higher than VHF, frequencies in the Ultra High Frequency band (UHF). AM radio uses lower frequencies that fall into the relatively low bands of Low, Medium and High Frequency (LF, MF, and HF).
9. Altruist’s opposite : EGOIST
An egoist (also “egotist”) is a selfish and conceited person. The opposite would be an altruist.
10. Ukr. and Lith., formerly : SSRS
Ukraine is a large country in Eastern Europe, a Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) before the dissolution of the USSR. In English we often call the country “the” Ukraine, but I am told that we should just say “Ukraine”.
The nation of Lithuania is a former Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) sitting on the Baltic Sea in Northern Europe. The capital of Lithuania is Vilnius, and 16 miles north of Vilnius is a point that is officially recognized as the Geographic Center of Europe.
13. Name for a help file : README
A readme (or “read me”) file is usually a simple text file that is issued with software when it is distributed. It often contains the latest information about the application, including bugs that were found at the last minute just before release.
22. Slope of loose stones : SCREE
When a rock face erodes, lumps of rock and dust fall to the ground. The pile of rocks gathered around the rock face is called scree, a word derived from the old Norwegian term for a landslide.
28. Blue character : SMURF
The Smurfs are little blue people created in 1958 by the Belgian cartoonist who went by the pen name Peyo. The Smurfs became famous in the US when Hanna-Barbera used them in a children’s cartoon series. The characters are largely a group of males. The original lineup included just one “Smurfette”, who is wooed by almost all of the boy Smurfs. Later, another female was introduced into the mix called Sassette, and still later along came Granny Smurf.
37. It was originally established as the Royal Coburg Theatre : OLD VIC
The Old Vic is a very famous theater (or I should I say “theatre”?) in London, previously known as the Royal Coburg Theatre and then the Royal Victorian Theatre (giving it the current name “The Old Vic”). The theater owes a lot of its fame and standing to the fact that it housed the National Theater of Great Britain after it was founded in 1963 by Sir Laurence Olivier. Today the National Theater has new, modern premises, but the Old Vic Theatre Company stills garners a lot of attention. The current, and very energetic, artistic director of the company is American actor, Kevin Spacey.
39. Showing off a pedi, perhaps : OPEN-TOE
42. Nissan models : ALTIMAS
Nissan has been making the Altima since 1993. In 2007 the company started to produce a hybrid version, Nissan’s first foray into the hybrid market and a successful one by all accounts. Altima hybrids are even used as police cruisers by the New York Police Department.
43. Duck-billed mammals : PLATYPI
The platypus (plural “platypuses” or “platypi”) is one of only five mammalian species that we know of that lay eggs rather than give birth to live young. The platypus is a native of Eastern Australia, and it is a weird creature to say the least. It’s appearance is bizarre enough, with it’s bill that resembles that of a duck, but it is also poisonous. The platypus has a spur on it hind foot that can inject venom and cause severe pain in humans.
44. Julie who voices Marge Simpson : KAVNER
Julie Kavner is an actress whose big break came playing the role of Brenda Morgenstern on the sitcom “Rhoda” in the 1070s. Nowadays, she is known for voicing Marge Simpson on “The Simpsons”. Kavener leads a very, very private life. She even has a clause in contract with the producers of “The Simpsons” that she never has to promote the show on video.
46. Emmy winner Jeffrey of “Transparent” : TAMBOR
Jeffrey Tambor is an actor who achieved the big time playing Hank Kingsley, the talk show sidekick on “The Larry Sanders Show”. Tambor is now making a name for himself playing the transgender central character on the Amazon show “Transparent”.
51. Street of mystery : DELLA
Della Street was Perry Mason’s very capable secretary in the Erle Stanley Gardner novels. Street was played in the TV show by the lovely Barbara Hale.
59. Creator of Q and M : IAN
In military circles a quartermaster is an officer responsible for supplying equipment and supplies to troops. The term “quartermaster” comes from “quartier-maître”, a ship’s officer in the French navy who was responsible for stowing cargo and supplies in the hold. In the James Bond stories, the character called “Q” is named for “quartermaster”.
In the “James Bond” series of novels, author Ian Fleming used the name “M” for the head of MI6. Fleming himself worked in the British Intelligence services during WWII, and he was well aware that actual leaders of the MI6 used single letters as signatures, a tradition that started just prior to WWI with Captain Mansfield Smith-Cumming, who signed documents with a letter C.