Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers are common phrases in which the last word has been replaced by a pair of letters. The plural form of those letters sounds just like the word that has been replaced:
- 17A. Southern dish, so we hear : BLACK-EYED PP (peas)
- 25A. World’s navigable waters, so we hear? : SEVEN CC (seas)
- 36A. Welcome relief, so we hear : A SIGHT FOR SORE II (eyes)
- 48A. Suggestive dance, so we hear : STRIP TT (tease)
- 57A. Warning hint, so we hear : WORD TO THE YY (wise)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Wing it : AD LIB
“Ad libitum” is a Latin phrase meaning “at one’s pleasure”. In common usage the phrase is usually shortened to “ad lib”. On the stage the concept of an ad lib is very familiar.
11. Quarterback Brady : TOM
Quarterback Tom Brady signed up with the New England Patriots in 2000, and led the team to more Super Bowl appearances than any other player in history. Brady is from San Mateo, California, which isn’t very far from here. He dated actress Bridget Moynahan for a couple of years, and the pair have a child together. Brady has been married to Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen since 2009.
14. “Fun With Dick and Jane” (2005) actress : 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 the fiancée of Sam Malone from “Cheers” on the spin-off sitcom “Frasier”. A leading role on the big screen was 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 …
The 2005 comedy film “Fun with Dick and Jane” stars Jim Carrey and Téa Leoni in the title roles. It is a remake of the 1977 movie of the same name starring George Segal and Jane Fonda as Dick and Jane. The film centers on a middle-class couple who get into financial difficulties and who turn to robbery to make ends meet.
16. Political commentator Navarro : ANA
Ana Navarro is a Nicaraguan-born American political strategist and commentator. Navarro is a lifelong Republican who worked for Governor Jeb Bush and for Senator John McCain. However, she was very critical of presidential candidate Donald Trump during his 2016 campaign. She was so vehement in her anti-Trump views that she ended up voting for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the election.
17. Southern dish, so we hear : BLACK-EYED PP (peas)
Black-eyed peas (also called “black-eyed beans”) are a type of cowpea. Black-eyed peas are especially popular in soul food and other southern cuisine.
20. Justice Dept. branch : ATF
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is today part of the Department of Justice (DOJ). The ATF has its roots in the Department of Treasury dating back to 1886 when it was known as the Bureau of Prohibition. “Explosives” was added to the ATF’s name when the bureau was moved under the Department of Justice (DOJ) as part of the reorganization called for in the Homeland Security Act of 2002.
22. What “A” is for, in Sue Grafton’s mystery series : ALIBI
Sue Grafton writes detective novels, and her “alphabet series” features the private investigator Kinsey Millhone. She started off with “A Is for Alibi” in 1982 and is working her way through the alphabet. Apparently Ms. Grafton has already decided that “Z is for Zero” will be the final title in the series. What a clever naming system!
25. World’s navigable waters, so we hear? : SEVEN CC (seas)
The phrase “the seven seas” has been used for centuries by many different peoples. The actual definition of what constitutes the collection of seven has varied depending on the period and the culture. Nowadays we consider the seven largest bodies of water as the seven seas, namely:
- The North Pacific Ocean
- The South Pacific Ocean
- The North Atlantic Ocean
- The South Atlantic Ocean
- The Indian Ocean
- The Southern Ocean
- The Arctic Ocean
30. Savory Chinese snack : TEA EGG
The Chinese dish known as a tea egg is made by boiling an egg in water, cracking the shell, and then reboiling the egg in tea or a spiced sauce. Often sold as a snack food, the tea egg is also called a “marble egg”, referring to the marbled appearance of the cracked shell after boiling in a colored liquid.
32. Manhattan developer? : BAR
The cocktail called a Manhattan is made from whiskey, sweet vermouth and Angostura bitters. I make my own version of a Brandy Manhattan, using brandy, sweet vermouth and orange bitters.
33. #1 texting pal : BFF
Best friend forever (BFF)
41. Sevilla sun : SOL
The city of Seville (“Sevilla” in Spanish) is the capital of Andalusia in southern Spain. Seville is a favored setting for many operas including “The Barber of Seville” by Rossini, “Fidelio” by Beethoven and Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” and “The Marriage of Figaro”.
42. Nice way to say no? : NON
The French city of Nice is on the Mediterranean coast in the southeast of the country. Although Nice is only the fifth most populous city in France, it is home to the busiest airport outside of Paris. That’s because of all the tourists flocking to the French Riviera.
51. Hindu class : CASTE
Although caste systems exist in several societies around the world, we tend to associate the concept with the social stratification that is still found in many parts of India. The term “caste” comes from the Portuguese word “casta” meaning “race, breed”. The Portuguese used the term to describe the hereditary social groups that they found in India when they arrived in the subcontinent in 1498.
56. __ Dhabi : ABU
Abu Dhabi is one of the seven Emirates that make up the federation known as the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The two largest members of the UAE (geographically) are Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the only two of the seven members that have veto power over UAE policy. Before 1971, the UAE was a British Protectorate, a collection of sheikdoms. The sheikdoms entered into a maritime truce with Britain in 1835, after which they became known as the Trucial States, derived from the word “truce”.
62. “Middlemarch” novelist : ELIOT
George Eliot’s novel “Middlemarch” was first published in installments in 1871-72. The storyline is set some fifty years earlier, in the fictional English Midlands town of Middlemarch.
66. Butch and Sundance chasers : POSSE
Our word “posse” comes from an Anglo-Latin term from the early 15th century “posse comitatus” meaning “the force of the county”.
When the great movie “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” was in development, Paul Newman was always the first choice to play one of the leads, although the initial casting had him in the role of Sundance. Steve McQueen actually accepted the co-starring role, but left over a dispute about the billing (the film was entitled “The Sundance Kid and Butch Cassidy” at that point). The role of Sundance was then offered to Jack Lemmon, but he turned it down. Warren Beatty and Marlon Brando were considered next, before opting for the relatively unknown Robert Redford. What a great choice …
1. Goya’s “Duchess of __” : ALBA
María Cayetana de Silva was the 13th Duchess of Alba. She was a favorite subject of the Spanish painter Francisco Goya. The duchess is the subject in the famous portraits known as “La maja desnuda” (The Nude Maja) and “La maja vestida” (The Clothed Maja). “Maja” translates from Spanish as “beautiful lady”.
2. Muscle used to raise your hand in school, for short : DELT
The deltoid “muscle” is actually a group of muscles, the ones that cover the shoulder and create the roundness under the skin. The deltoids (delts) are triangular in shape resembling the Greek letter delta, hence the name.
4. “Monsters, __” : INC
The animated feature “Monsters, Inc.” was released in 2001, and was Pixar’s fourth full-length movie. It’s about cute monsters, and that’s all I know other than that the voice cast included the likes of John Goodman, Billy Crystal and Steve Buscemi.
9. Galaxy download : APP
The Galaxy is a series of mobile computing devices made by Samsung that was introduced in 2009. All of the Galaxy devices have used Google’s Android operating system, although a Windows 10 Galaxy device was introduced by Samsung in 2016.
12. Last non-AD yr. : ONE BC
The designations Anno Domini (AD, “year of Our Lord”) and Before Christ (BC) are found in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The dividing point between AD and BC is the year of the conception of Jesus, with AD 1 following 1 BC without a year “0” in between. The AD/BC scheme dates back to AD 525, and gained wide acceptance soon after AD 800. Nowadays a modified version has become popular, with CE (Common/Christian Era) used to replace AD, and BCE (Before the Common/Christian Era) used to replace BC.
27. Calculating pros : CPAS
Certified public accountant (CPA)
34. Bravo automaker : FIAT
The Bravo is a small 3-door car made by Fiat from 1995 through 2001. The 5-door version of the same vehicle is sold as a Brava. The Fiat Bravo was reintroduced in 2007 and manufactured through 2014. The newer Bravo was a 5-door vehicle. A little confusing …
35. Dough used in baklava : FILO
Filo (also “phyllo”) is an extremely thin unleavened dough used in Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisines. The most famous dish made from filo is baklava, a rich and sweet pastry made from layers of filo filled with chopped nuts and held together with syrup.
40. Bris, e.g. : RITE
A mohel is a man who has been trained in the practice of brit milah (circumcision). Brit milah is known as “bris” in Yiddish. The brit milah ceremony is performed on male infants when they are 8-days old.
48. Rapscallion : SCAMP
We might call a little imp a rapscallion, an evolution from “rascallion”, which in turn comes from “rascal”.
49. Just not done : TABOO
The word “taboo” was introduced into English by Captain Cook in his book “A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean”. Cook described “tabu” (likely imitative of a Tongan word that he had heard) as something that was both consecrated and forbidden.
55. Literary alter ego : HYDE
Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” was first published in 1886. There are many tales surrounding the writing of the story including one that the author wrote the basic tale in just three to six days, and spent a few weeks simply refining it. Allegedly, Stevenson’s use of cocaine stimulated his creative juices during those few days of writing.
59. Wrestler Flair nicknamed “The Nature Boy” : RIC
The wrestler Ric Flair’s real name is Richard Fliehr. Perhaps following the lead of his compatriot Jesse Ventura, Flair explored the possibility of running for governor of the state of North Carolina.
60. “Entourage” channel : HBO
I haven’t seen the HBO series “Entourage”, but will have to take a look one day as I am a huge fan of HBO productions. “Entourage” is the story of a young movie star from New York City learning about life in Los Angeles. The show is co-produced by the actor Mark Wahlberg and so the storyline is somewhat autobiographical, based on a few of Wahlberg’s own experiences.