Edited by: Rich Norris
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The acronym SEAL, in Navy SEALs, stands for SEa, Air and Land, and those are the words starting today’s themed answers:
- 62A…With 65-Across, military specialist..NAVY
- 65A…See 62-Across … and an acronym of the starts of 20-, 37- and 48-Across..SEAL
- 20A…Ship that’s safe for an ocean voyage..SEAWORTHY VESSEL
- 37A…Barrel roll or wingover..AIRSHOW MANEUVER
- 48A…Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, for one..LANDMARK VERDICT
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1…”Big bad” pig harasser..WOLF
The Big Bad Wolf is a character in many folklore stories, including “Little Red Riding” and “Three Little Pigs”. Walt Disney’s version of Big Bad Wolf is called Zeke Wolf, and has a son called Li’l Bad Wolf, or just “Li’l Wolf” to his friends.
5…Paper Mate products..PENS
The Paper Mate pen was introduced in 1949 by the Frawley Pen Company, with the attraction being that it delivered a revolutionary ink that dried instantly on paper.
Stenography is the process of writing in shorthand. The term comes from the Greek “steno” (narrow) and “graphe” (writing).
An opal is often described as having a milky iridescence, known as “opalescence”.
The phrase “to run amok” (sometimes “to run amuck”) has been around since the 1670s and is derived from the Malay word for “attacking furiously”, “amuk”. The word “amok” was also used as a noun to describe Malay natives who were “frenzied”. Given Malaya’s troubled history, the natives probably had good reason for that frenzy …
16…High fly to the shortstop..POP-UP
That would be in baseball.
23…Teller of macabre tales..POE
Edgar Allan Poe lived a life of many firsts. Poe is considered to be the inventor of the detective-fiction genre. He was also the first notable American author to make his living through his writing, something that didn’t really go too well for him as he was always financially strapped. In 1849 he was found on the streets of Baltimore, delirious from either drugs or alcohol. Poe died a few days later in hospital at 39 years of age.
Edo is the former name of the Japanese city of Tokyo. Edo was the seat of the Tokugawa shogunate, a feudal regime that ruled from 1603 until 1868. The shogun lived in the magnificent Edo castle. Some parts of the original castle remain and today’s Tokyo Imperial Palace, the residence of the Emperor of Japan, was built on its grounds.
31…Indy 500 stat..MPH
The first Indy 500 race was held on Memorial Day in 1911. The winner that day was one Ray Harroun. Harroun had seen someone using a rear view mirror on a horse-drawn vehicle, and decided to fit one on his Marmon “Wasp” motor car. Supposedly that was the first ever use of a rear view mirror on a motor vehicle.
34…Nebraska city near Boys Town..OMAHA
The village of Boys Town, Nebraska is a suburb of Omaha. The village was founded in 1917 as the headquarter of the Father Flanagan’s Boys’ Home, which is dedicated to the care of at-risk children.
Scarlett O’Hara’s home is the Tara plantation, in Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind”. Tara was founded not far from the Georgia city of Jonesboro by Scarlett’s father, Irish immigrant Gerald O’Hara. Gerald won the square mile of land on which Tara was built in an all-night poker. He named his new abode after the Hill of Tara back in his home country, the ancient seat of the High King of Ireland.
The Pepsi-Cola formulation was developed by one Caleb Bradham who made the drink at home and sold it as “Brad’s Drink”. Bradham’s aim was to provide a drink that was pleasant to taste, that would aid digestion and boost energy. Included in the formula were pepsin (a digestive enzyme) and kola nuts. These two ingredients inspired the brand name we use today: Pepsi-Cola.
37…Barrel roll or wingover..AIRSHOW MANEUVER
A barrel roll is an aerial stunt in which a plane makes a complete rotation around the longitudinal axis. The manoeuvre is so called as the corkscrew path that the aircraft executes makes it appear as though it is rotating through the inside of an enormous barrel.
A wingover is a maneuver in which a plane climbs steeply before making a vertical flat turn (sort of like a car’s turn) followed by a dive and a gentle levelling out. The end result is that the plane is flying in the opposite direction. The purpose of the wingover is to make a 180-degree turn while covering the shortest distance possible over the ground. The maneuver is also known as a “crop-duster turn”.
40…Award for 46-Down..CLIO
46…Madison Ave. figures..ADMEN)
The Clio Awards are the Oscars of the advertising world and are named after Clio, the Greek Muse of History. Clio was also the recorder of great deeds, the proclaimer and celebrator of great accomplishments and a source of inspiration and genius. The Clio Awards were first presented in 1959.
In a staircase, the “treads” are the upper surfaces of the steps.
43…”For __ a jolly good fellow … “..HE’S
“For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow” is the second-most popular song in the English language, according to the “Guinness Book of World Records”. Top of the list is “Happy Birthday to You”, and third comes “Auld Lang Syne”.
48…Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, for one..LANDMARK VERDICT
Brown v. Board of Education was the US Supreme Court Case that established the unconstitutionality of separate public schools for black and white students. Oliver L. Brown was one of thirteen parents who filed a class action suit against the Topeka, Kansas Board of Education on behalf of their twenty children. The suit called for the city to reverse its racial segregation policy. The final decision by the US Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice Earl Warren, was unanimous in rejecting segregation.
57…San Antonio mission..ALAMO
The famous Alamo in San Antonio, Texas was originally known as Mission San Antonio de Valero. The mission was founded in 1718 and was the first mission established in the city. The Battle of the Alamo took place in 1836, a thirteen-day siege by the Mexican Army led by President General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. Only two people defending the Alamo Mission survived the onslaught. One month later, the Texian army got its revenge by attacking and defeating the Mexican Army in the Battle of San Jacinto. During the surprise attack on Santa Anna’s camp, many of the Texian soldiers were heard to cry “Remember the Alamo!”.
58…The “kid” in “Here’s looking at you, kid”..ILSA
“Here’s looking at you, kid” is a line spoken in “Casablanca” by Rick (Humphrey Bogart) to Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman).
60…”Homeland” actress Claire..DANES
Claire Danes is an actress from New York City who played the title role in the HBO movie “Temple Grandin”. More recently, she has been starring as Carrie Mathison in the excellent Showtime drama series “Homeland”.
62…With 65-Across, military specialist..NAVY
(65A…See 62-Across … and an acronym of the starts of 20-, 37- and 48-Across..SEAL)
SEAL is an acronym used by the US Navy’s SEa, Air and Land teams. The SEALs were born out of the Navy’s special warfare groups from WWII, like the Underwater Demolition Teams and the Motor Torpedo Boat Squadrons. The Navy SEAL unit was established soon after President Kennedy’s famous speech in which he announced the plan to put a man on the moon, as in the same speech the president allocated $100m of funding to strengthen special operations forces. The Navy used some of this money to set up guerrilla and counterguerrilla units, which soon became the SEALs.
63…Supremes singer Ross..DIANA
The Supremes were the most successful vocal group in US history, based on number one hits. The group started out in 1959 as a four-member lineup called the Primettes. The name was changed to the Supremes in 1961. One member dropped out in 1962, leaving the Supremes as a trio. Lead singer Diana Ross began to garner much of the attention, which eventually led to a further name change, to Diana Ross & the Supremes.
An emergency medical technician (EMT) might administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Opie Taylor is the character played by Ron Howard on “The Andy Griffith Show”. Opie lives with widowed father Andy Taylor (played by Andy Griffith) and his great-aunt Beatrice “Aunt Bee” Taylor (played by Frances Bavier). Ron Howard first played the role in 1960 in the pilot show, when he was just 5 years old. Howard sure has come a long way since playing Opie Taylor. He has directed some fabulous movies including favorites of mine like “Apollo 13”, “A Beautiful Mind” and “The Da Vinci Code”.
Mayberry is the fictional North Carolina town in which the “The Andy Griffith Show” is set. Mayberry is said to based on Griffith’s own hometown of Mount Airy, North Carolina.
“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.
3…Turner of “The Postman Always Rings Twice” (1946)..LANA
Lana Turner started work as a Hollywood actress at a very young age, signing up with MGM at only sixteen. Early in her career she earned the nickname “The Sweater Girl” after wearing a pretty tight sweater in the film “They Won’t Forget”, which was her film debut. She married eight times, to seven different husbands, the first of which was bandleader Artie Shaw. Shaw and Turner eloped and married on their very first date, when the young actress was just nineteen years old. After divorcing Shaw she married restaurateur Joseph Crane, but had the marriage annulled when she found out that Crane was still married to his first wife. The two had a daughter together, and so remarried when Crane’s divorce was finalized. Cheryl Crane was the daughter from the marriage to Joseph and she lived with Turner after her parents split up. When Cheryl was 14-years-old, her mother was romantically involved with a shady character named Johnny Stompanato. One evening Cheryl found her mother engaged in a violent argument with Stompanato, and Cheryl became so scared that she pulled out a gun and killed him in what was deemed to be justifiable homicide. Turner’s last marriage was to a nightclub hypnotist, Ronald Pellar, and that union lasted just six months as Pellar disappeared one day with a lot of Turner’s money and jewelry. Years later Turner said, “My goal was to have one husband and seven children, but it turned out to be the other way around.”
“The Postman Always Rings Twice” is a crime novel by James M. Cain, first published in 1934. The title is puzzling to say the least, because in the story there is no postman, and no one ringing any doorbells. The novel has been adapted for the big screen four times, has been adapted as a play, and there is even an opera! The most famous film version is from 1946 and stars Lana Turner and John Garfield. I haven’t read the book, but that 1946 movie is fabulous …
5…Stereotypical cracker requester..PARROT
Polly wants a cracker.
6…Chew the scenery..EMOTE
“To chew the scenery” is to overact, to ham it up.
7…Grab a bite..NOSH
Our word “nosh” has been around since the late fifties, when it was imported from the Yiddish word “nashn” meaning “to nibble”. We use “nosh” as a noun that means snack, or as a verb meaning to eat between meals.
8…Grey Goose rival..SKYY
Skyy Vodka is produced in the US, although the operation is owned by the Campari Group headquartered in Italy. Skyy first hit the shelves in 1992 when it was created by an entrepreneur from San Francisco, California.
Grey Goose is a vodka that is produced in France. The beverage was developed especially for the American market using resources and expertise available in the French Cognac region.
10…Art class form..TORSO
“Torso” (plural “torsi”) is an Italian word meaning the “trunk of a statue”, and is a term that we imported into English.
“Epos” is the Greek word for a story or a poem. We have absorbed it into English as “epic”, a long narrative poetic work describing heroic deeds and ventures.
Adam Opel founded his company in 1863, first making sewing machines in a cowshed. Commercial success brought new premises and a new product line in 1886, namely penny-farthing bicycles. Adam Opel died in 1895, leaving his two sons with a company that made more penny-farthings and sewing machines than any other company in the world. In 1899 the two sons partnered with a locksmith and started to make cars, but not very successfully. Two years later, the locksmith was dropped in favor of a licensing arrangement with a French car company. By 1914, Opel was the largest manufacturer of automobiles in Germany. My Dad had an Opel in the seventies, a station wagon (we’d say “estate car” in Ireland) called an Opel Kadett.
21…Daytime TV mogul..OPRAH
What can you say about Oprah Winfrey that hasn’t been said already? Born into poverty to a single mother and with a harrowing childhood, Oprah is now the greatest African American philanthropist the world has ever known. Oprah’s name was originally meant to be “Orpah” after the Biblical character in the Book of Ruth, and that’s how it appears on her birth certificate. Apparently folks had trouble pronouncing “Orpah”, so she’s now “Oprah”.
22…One who shuns all animal products..VEGAN
A vegan is someone who stays away from animal products. A dietary vegan eats no animal foods, not even eggs and dairy which are usually eaten by vegetarians. Ethical vegans take things one step further by following a vegan diet and also avoiding animal products in other areas of their lives e.g. items made from leather or silk.
Raid insecticide has been killing bugs since 1956.
The insect known as a cockroach is closely related to the termite. Although generally considered a pest, the lowly cockroach has at least one claim to fame. A cockroach named Nadezhda was sent into space in 2007 by Russian scientists, where it became the first terrestrial creature to give birth in space. Nadezhda bore 33 cockroaches.
The most famous work of French writer Émile Zola is his 1898 open letter “J’Accuse!” written to then French president Félix Faure. The letter was published on the front page of a leading Paris newspaper, and accused the government of anti-Semitism in its handling of the trial of Captain Alfred Dreyfus. Dreyfus was a Jewish military officer in the French army, falsely accused and convicted of spying for Germany. Even after the error was discovered, the government refused to back down and let Dreyfus rot away on Devil’s Island rather than admit to the mistake. It wasn’t until 1906, 12 years after the wrongful conviction, that Dreyfus was freed and reinstated, largely due to the advocacy of Emile Zola.
27…Eiffel Tower city..PARIS
The Exposition Universelle (World’s Fair) of 1900 was held in Paris, France. The 1900 fair is remembered for the magnificent entrance arch that was constructed for visitors. That entrance arch was to remain standing for only nine years, but the city decided to keep it and you can visit it today. Today we call that entrance arch the Eiffel Tower.
The 1942 Disney classic “Bambi” is based on a book written by Felix Salten called “Bambi, A Life in the Woods”. There is a documented phenomenon known as the Bambi Effect, whereby people become more interested in animal rights after having watched the scene where Bambi’s mother is shot by hunters.
30…Investments for the future: Abbr…IRAS
Individual retirement account (IRA)
33…”Tess of the d’Urbervilles” author Thomas..HARDY
The full name of Thomas Hardy’s 1891 novel is “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented”. When it was originally published, “Tess …” received very mixed reviews, largely because it addressed some difficult sexual themes including rape, and sexual double standards (attitudes towards men vs women). I suppose the most celebrated screen adaptation is Roman Polanski’s “Tess” released in 1979. Polanski apparently made “Tess” because his wife, Sharon Tate, gave him Hardy’s novel as her last act before she was murdered by the Manson family. There is a dedication at the beginning of the movie that just says “To Sharon”.
35…Candy sold in pairs..TWIX
I remember Twix bars from way back in 1967 when they were introduced in the British Isles. Twix bars made it to the US over a decade later, in 1979. The name “Twix” is a portmanteau of “twin bix”, short for “twin biscuit”.
President Obama’s first name, Barack, is Swahili with roots in an old Arabic word meaning “blessed”. Barack was the President’s father’s name. President Obama’s middle name is Hussein, an Arabic word meaning “good” or “handsome one”. Hussein was the name of the President’s grandfather on the paternal side. His surname, Obama, doesn’t really have a translation, but is common among the Luo tribe of Kenya.
Ethers are a whole class of organic compounds, but in the vernacular “ether” is specifically diethyl ether. Diethyl ether was once very popular as a general anesthetic.
Where I come from, the cocktail known in North America as a mimosa is called a Buck’s Fizz, named after the club where it was introduced in 1921. The mimosa came along a few years later, apparently first being served in the Paris Ritz. If you want to make a mimosa, it’s a 50-50 mix of champagne and orange juice, and it is very tasty …
46…Madison Ave. figures..ADMEN
Madison Avenue became the center of advertising in the US in the twenties, and serves as the backdrop to the great TV drama “Mad Men”. There aren’t many advertising agencies left on Madison Avenue these days though, as most have moved to other parts of New York City. The street takes its name from Madison Square, which is bounded on one side by Madison Avenue. The square in turn takes its name from James Madison, the fourth President of the United States.
48…TV “angel” Cheryl who replaced Farrah Fawcett..LADD
Cheryl Ladd’s most famous role was Kris Munroe in television’s “Charlie’s Angels”. Ladd replaced Farrah Fawcett-Majors when the latter opted out of the show. Cheryl Ladd was the daughter-in-law of famed Hollywood actor Alan Ladd, as she was married to Ladd’s son, David. After the couple divorced, Cheryl retained the Ladd name.
Farrah Fawcett’s first big role was that of Jill Monroe, one of the famous “Charlie’s Angels”. Fawcett’s life off-screen was just as celebrated as her performances on television. Fawcett was married to actor Lee Majors (“The Six Million Dollar Man”) for nine years, and then spent fifteen years with actor Ryan O’Neal.
Even though jai alai is often said to be the fastest sport in the world because of the speed of the ball, in fact golf balls usually get going at a greater clip. Although, as a blog reader once pointed out to me, you don’t have to catch a golf ball …
German-born Heidi Klum was married to the successful English singer, Seal. Klum is a talented lady and has built a multi-faceted career based on her early success as a model. She is the force behind the Bravo reality show called “Project Runway” that has been on the air since 2004. Klum has been nominated 4-5 times for an Emmy for her association with the show. Klum was also signed up as the official ambassador for Barbie in 2009, the 50th anniversary of the Barbie Doll, and for her service that year a Heidi Klum Barbie was produced. She has been adding a touch of class to the judging panel on the show “America’s Got Talent” since 2013.
A man described as a “Dapper Dan” is one who is dressed very nattily. There have been a few people who have used the Dapper Dan moniker over the years, including a gangster in the twenties called Dapper Dan Hogan and a baseball player who was active around the same time called Dapper Dan Howley.
54…”Dies __”: hymn..IRAE
“Dies Irae” is Latin for “Day of Wrath”. It is the name of a famous melody in Gregorian Chant, one that is often used as part of the Roman Catholic Requiem Mass.
55…Vena __: major blood line..CAVA
The superior vena cava is a large vein carrying deoxygenated blood from the upper part of the body to the right atrium of the heart. The inferior vena cava does the same thing for the lower part of the body.
56…Texter’s sign off..TTYL
Talk to you later (TTYL)