Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers are each HEADED with a type of FISH:
- 40D. Ingredient in some Asian soup, or, literally, what each answer to a starred clue has : FISH HEAD
- 17A. *Droopy-eared dog : BASSET HOUND (headed by BASS)
- 25A. *Testimony preceder : SOLEMN OATH (headed by SOLE)
- 38A. *Garage alternative : CARPORT (headed by CARP)
- 52A. *Common cause of food poisoning : SALMONELLA (headed by SALMON)
- 61A. *Garment with a fitted waist and flared bottom : SKATER DRESS (headed by SKATE)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Overzealous : RABID
“Rabies” is actually the Latin word for “madness”. The name is a good choice for the viral disease, as once the virus spreads to the brain the infected person or animal exhibits very tortured and bizarre behavior including hydrophobia, a fear of water. The virus is passed on to humans most often through a bite from an infected dog. It is curable if it is caught in time, basically before symptoms develop. Once the virus passes up the peripheral nervous system to the spine and the brain, there isn’t much that can be done. We can also use the derivative term “rabid” figuratively, to mean extremely violent, to have extreme views.
11. Big name in home security : ADT
ADT is a home and small-business security company based in Boca Raton, Florida. The company was founded back in 1874 by Edward Calahan. Calahan had invented the stock ticker several years earlier, and ran the Gold and Stock Telegraph Company. Calahan was awoken one morning by the sound of a burglar in his house, and so he decided to develop a telegraph-based security alarm system. The success of the system led to the founding of American District Telegraph, later known as ADT.
15. Golfer’s birdie, often : THREE
The following terms are routinely used in golf for scores relative to par:
- Bogey: one over par
- Birdie: one under par
- Eagle: two under par
- Albatross (also “double eagle”): three under par
- Condor: four under par
No one has ever recorded a condor during a professional tournament.
17. *Droopy-eared dog : BASSET HOUND (headed by BASS)
The basset hound wouldn’t be my favorite breed of dog, to be honest. Basset hounds have a great sense of smell with an ability to track a scent that is second only to that of the bloodhound. The name “basset” comes from the French word for “rather low”, a reference to the dog’s short legs.
19. King Kong, e.g. : APE
When RKO released the 1933 movie “King Kong”, the promotional material listed the ape’s height as 50 feet. During filming, a bust was created for a 40-foot ape, as well as a full-size hand that went with a 70-foot Kong.
20. Home buyer’s choice : CONDO
The terms “condominium” and “apartment” tend to describe the same type of residential property, a private living space with facilities shared with others residing in the same building or complex. The difference is that a condominium is usually owned, and an apartment is rented. At least that’s how it is in the US. The word “condominium” comes from the Latin “com-” (together) and “dominum” (right of ownership).
25. *Testimony preceder : SOLEMN OATH (headed by SOLE)
The group of flatfish known as soles take their name from “solea”, the Latin word for “sandal”. And, they kind of have that shape.
28. Pan flying : PETER
JM Barrie’s stage play “Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up” premiered in London in 1904. Barrie adapted the play into a 1911 novel titled “Peter and Wendy”. The character Peter Pan actually predated the play, having been introduced by Barrie as baby in his 1902 adult novel called “The Little White Bird”.
30. Present mo. : DEC
December is the twelfth month in our calendar but was the tenth month in the old Roman calendar, hence the name (“decem” is Latin for “ten”). Back then there were only ten months in the year. “Ianuarius” (January) and “Februarius” were then added as the eleventh and twelfth months of the year. Soon after, the year was reset and January and February became the first and second months.
31. Bone, to Botticelli : OSSO
Sandro Botticelli was a painter of the Early Renaissance belonging to the Florentine school. Perhaps his best known work is “The Birth of Venus”, painted about 1486, which can be seen in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.
37. Pop singer Grande’s fragrance : ARI
Ariana Grande is a singer and actress from Boca Raton, Florida. Grande plays the role of Cat Valentine on the sitcom “Victorious” that aired for four season on Nickelodeon. Grande’s singing career took off with the release of the 2011 album “Victorious: Music from the Hit TV Show”.
43. The Euphrates flows through it : SYRIA
The Euphrates is one of the two rivers that formed the main boundaries of the historical region known as Mesopotamia, the other being the Tigris.
44. Like King Kong : SIMIAN
“Simian” means “pertaining to monkeys or apes”, from the Latin word “simia” meaning “ape”.
46. Shepherd’s dinner, perhaps : ALPO
Alpo is a brand of dog food first produced by Allen Products in 1936, with “Alpo” being an abbreviation for “Allen Products”. Lorne Greene used to push Alpo in television spots, as did Ed McMahon and Garfield the Cat, would you believe?
The lovely German shepherd breed of dog isn’t one of the older breeds, only dating back to 1899. German shepherds are the second-most popular breed in the US, after the Labrador retriever.
52. *Common cause of food poisoning : SALMONELLA (headed by SALMON)
The genus of bacteria known as Salmonella isn’t named for the salmon fish. Rather, it was named for veterinary surgeon Daniel Elmer Salmon of the US Department of Agriculture. Salmon’s administered a group that discovered a strain of Salmonella in the 1880s, and so the genus was named in his honor.
56. Perlman of “The Mindy Project” : RHEA
Rhea Perlman’s most famous role has to be “Carla Tortelli”, the irascible waitress in the long-running sitcom “Cheers”. Perlman is also a successful children’s author, and has published a series of six books called “Otto Undercover”. She is married to Hollywood actor Danny DeVito, and has been so since 1982.
“The Mindy Project” is a Fox sitcom that stars and was created by Mindy Kaling. Mindy plays an obstetrician/gynecologist, a role that was inspired by her own mother who is an OB/GYN.
57. Racer’s swimwear brand : SPEEDO
Speedo brand swimwear was first produced in Australia in 1928, by a hosiery company that wanted to diversify. The brand name was chosen after a slogan competition among employees was won by “Speed on in your Speedos”. It was a long time ago, I guess …
60. Country that won the most Olympics medals in Rio : USA
The US topped the medal table at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, winning 46 gold medals:
- United States – 46 gold medals (121 medals total)
- Great Britain – 27 gold medals (67 medals total)
- China – 26 gold medals (70 medals total)
61. *Garment with a fitted waist and flared bottom : SKATER DRESS (headed by SKATE)
Skates (formally “Rajidae”) are a family of fish in the superorder of rays (formally “batoidea”). Skates look very similar to stingrays but they lack stinging spines.
66. Something to chew : CUD
Ruminants are animals that “chew the cud”. Ruminants eat vegetable matter but cannot extract any nutritional value from cellulose without the help of microbes in the gut. Ruminants collect roughage in the first part of the alimentary canal, allowing microbes to work on it. The partially digested material (the cud) is regurgitated into the mouth so that the ruminant can chew the food more completely exposing more surface area for microbes to do their work. We also use the verb “to ruminate” in a figurative sense, to mean “to muse, ponder, chew over”.
69. Officejet printers : HPS
Inkjet is a very accurate and descriptive name for the type of printer. Printing is accomplished by shooting extremely fine jets of ink onto the page.
71. Pearl Jam frontman Vedder : EDDIE
Eddie Vedder is the singer of the alternative rock band named Pearl Jam. As a songwriter, Vedder released a solo album in 2007, which is also used as the soundtrack of the interesting film “Into the Wild”.
2. Santa __ Mountains : ANA
Southern California’s Santa Ana Mountains run southeast of Los Angeles. The range was named by Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portolà. Don Gaspar camped below the mountains in 1769 on July 26, the Feast of Saint Anne.
3. Twice-baked cookies : BISCOTTI
What we know in this country as “biscotti” are more properly called “biscotti di Prato”. A biscotto is a twice-baked, almond-flavored confection that originated in the Italian city of Prato. Modern versions of biscotti often contain anise or cinnamon in addition to the almond flavoring.
5. Celebrity chef Paula : DEEN
Paula Deen is a celebrity chef from Savannah, Georgia who is noted for her Southern cooking. Deen has been criticized for the amount of salt, fat and sugar in her recipes. The criticism became even more intense when Deen disclosed that she herself has been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
6. Highest peak in Ore. : MT HOOD
Mount Hood is a volcanic peak in northern Oregon. It is the highest peak in the state, and is located about 50 miles southeast of Portland. There are six ski areas on the mountain, including a resort called Timberline that has North America’s only lift operating year-round for skiing.
8. Christian sch. in Tulsa : ORU
Oral Roberts University (ORU) is a private school in Tulsa, Oklahoma. ORU was founded relatively recently, in 1963 by the late televangelist Oral Roberts. The campus includes a Prayer Tower at its center, a spectacular glass and steel structure designed by architect Frank Wallace. The tower includes an observation deck, and is a popular tourist attraction. The school’s sports teams are known as the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles.
9. Vest fabric : DENIM
Denim fabric originated in Nimes in France. The French phrase “de Nimes” (meaning “from Nimes”) gives us the word “denim”. Also, the French phrase “bleu de Genes” (meaning “blue of Genoa”) gives us our word “jeans”.
10. It often has four doors : SEDAN
The American “sedan” car is the equivalent of the British “saloon” car. By definition, a sedan car has two rows of seating and a separate trunk (boot in the UK), although in some models the engine can be at the rear of the car.
11. Some kitchen appliances : AMANAS
The Amana Corporation takes its name from the location of its original headquarters, in Middle Amana, Iowa. Today, the Amana name is very much associated with household appliances. The company was founded in 1934 to manufacture commercial walk-in coolers.
12. Bus stations : DEPOTS
Our term “depot”, meaning a station or warehouse, derives from the word “dépôt”, French for “deposit” or “place of deposit”.
13. “Tommy” band : THE WHO
“Tommy” is the fourth album recorded by the British band called the Who. “Tommy” was the original “rock opera” and was adapted for both the stage and screen, with both adaptations becoming huge successes. The title character has an uncanny ability to play pinball, giving rise to the hit song “Pinball Wizard”.
18. Pts. by Vikings : TDS
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.
22. Irrelevant : MOOT
“To moot” is to bring up as a subject for discussion or debate. So, something that is moot is open to debate. Something that is no longer moot, is no longer worth debating. We don’t seem to be able get that right …
23. Critter rescue org. : SPCA
Unlike in most developed countries, there is no “umbrella” organization in the US with the goal of preventing cruelty to animals. Instead there are independent organizations set up all over the nation using the name SPCA. Having said that, there is an organization called the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) that was originally intended to operate across the country, but really it now focuses its efforts in New York City.
24. Big name in business jets : LEAR
Learjet is a company making business jets that was founded in 1960 by William Powell Lear. The original Learjet was a modified Swiss ground-attack fighter aircraft.
26. Electric guitar pioneer : LES PAUL
Les Paul was a guitarist, songwriter and inventor. When he was 33 years old, Paul was involved in a near-fatal car crash that left his right arm and elbow shattered. Surgeons offered him the choice of amputation or a rebuilding of the limb that would leave him unable to bend his elbow. He told them to set his arm at just under 90 degrees so that he could at least hold his guitar and perhaps play it.
29. Like “Fifty Shades of Grey” : RACY
“Fifty Shades of Grey” is an incredibly popular erotic novel by British writer E. L. James. “Fifty Shades of Grey” is the fastest-selling paperback of all time. And there are two other titles to complete the trilogy: “Fifty Shades Darker” and “Fifty Shades Freed”.
35. Hosp. areas : ORS
Surgery (surg.) is usually performed in an operating room (OR).
36. Handle on many elevators : OTIS
Elevators (simple hoists) have been around for a long time. What Elisha Otis did was come up with the “safety elevator”, a design that he showcased at the 1853 World’s Fair in New York. At the Fair, Otis would stand on an elevated platform in front of onlookers and order his assistant to cut the single rope holding up the platform. His safety system kicked in when the platform had only fallen a few inches, amazing the crowd. After this demonstration, the orders came rolling in.
39. Bento box staple : RICE
A bento is a single-person meal that is commonly eaten in Japan. A bento can be purchased as a take-out meal, or it may be packed at home. A bento is usually sold as a “bento box”.
42. “Only Time” songwriter : ENYA
“Only Time” is a song written and recorded by Irish singer Enya. Released in 2000, “Only Time” is the biggest solo hit for Enya in the US.
45. Color named for a planet : MARS RED
The surface of the planet Mars has a very high iron oxide content, so Mars is red because it is rusty!
53. Has too much of, briefly : ODS ON
54. Finnish tech giant : NOKIA
I do enjoy classical guitar music, but there isn’t a huge choice on CD. There is one very special piece called “Gran Vals” by Francisco Tárrega, written in 1902. This piece has a unique reputation as it contains a phrase that was once the most listened-to piece of music in the whole world. Just a few bars into the work one can hear the celebrated Nokia ringtone!
62. Legendary fighter : ALI
Muhammad Ali won 56 professional fights, 37 of which were knockouts. He lost 5 fights, 4 being decisions and one being a technical knockout (TKO). The TKO-loss was Ali’s second-last fight, against Larry Holmes. By the time Ali took on Holmes, he was already showing signs of Parkinson’s Syndrome, although the diagnosis would not come until four years later.