Edited by: Rich Norris
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Each of today’s themed answers includes a synonym of “nameless”.
- 17A. With 61-Across, dubious tabloid image : UNIDENTIFIED …
- 61A. See 17-Across : … FLYING OBJECT
- 25A. Call to a police hotline, possibly : ANONYMOUS TIP
- 36A. 1972 chart-topper for the band America : A HORSE WITH NO NAME
- 51A. Emmy-winning travel and cuisine show hosted by Anthony Bourdain : PARTS UNKNOWN
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
15. __ Picchu : MACHU
Machu Picchu is known as “The Lost City of the Incas”, and it can be visited on a mountain ridge in Peru, 50 miles northwest of the city of Cuzco in the southeast of the country. The name Machu Picchu means “old peak”. The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu originates about 50 miles from Cusco on the Urubamba River in Peru. It can take travelers about 5 days to trek the full length of the trail, passing through many Incan ruins before reaching the Sun Gate on Machu Picchu mountain. The trail was becoming greatly overused, forcing the Peruvian government to limit the number of people on the trail each day to 500. Book early …
16. Female GI in WWII : WAC
The Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) was formed in 1942, and the unit was converted to full status the following year to become the Women’s Army Corps (WAC). Famously, General Douglas MacArthur referred to the WACs as his “best soldiers”, saying they worked harder, complained less and were better disciplined than men. The WACs were disbanded in 1978 and the serving members were integrated into the rest of the army.
17. With 61-Across, dubious tabloid image : UNIDENTIFIED …
(61A. See 17-Across : … FLYING OBJECT)
In 1952, the USAF revived its studies of reported sightings of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) in a program called Project Blue Book. Project Blue Book ran from 1952 until it was shut down in 1969 with the conclusion that there was no threat to national security and that there were no sightings that could not be explained within the bounds of modern scientific knowledge.
Tabloid is the trademarked name (owned by Burroughs, Wellcome and Co,) for a “small tablet of medicine”, a name that goes back to 1884. The word “tabloid” had entered into general use to mean a compressed form of anything, and by the early 1900s was used in “tabloid journalism”, applied to newspapers that had short, condensed articles and stories printed on smaller sheets of paper.
20. ’50s president, initially : DDE
21. 20-Across nickname : IKE
Future US president Eisenhower was born in Denison, Texas in 1890 and given the name David Dwight, but by the time he made it to the White House he was going by the name Dwight D. Eisenhower (DDE). Growing up, his family called him Dwight, and when “Ike” enrolled in West Point he himself reversed the order of his given names.
22. The Congo, formerly : ZAIRE
The African nation once called Zaire is a neighbor of Rwanda. The genocide and war in Rwanda spilled over into Zaire in 1996, with the conflict escalating into what is now called the First Congo War. As part of the war’s fallout there was a regime change, and in 1997 Zaire became the Democratic Republic of Congo.
24. Tycoon Onassis : ARI
Aristotle Onassis was born to a successful Greek shipping entrepreneur in Smyrna in modern-day Turkey. However, his family lost its fortune during WWI and so Aristotle worked with his father to build up a new business empire centered on the importation of tobacco. In 1957, Aristotle founded the Greek national airline, what is today called Olympic Air, and he also got into the business of shipping oil around the world. He married Athina Livanos in 1946, the daughter of a wealthy shipping magnate. They couple had two children together, with one being the famous Christina Onassis. Livanos divorced Onassis on discovering him in bed with the opera singer Maria Callas. Onassis ended his affair with Callas in order to marry Jackie Kennedy in 1968.
29. Hits the tarmac : LANDS
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.
36. 1972 chart-topper for the band America : A HORSE WITH NO NAME
“A Horse with No Name” is a fabulous song from the early seventies that was released by the band America. The song was originally banned by some radio stations in the US, due to claims that the “horse” in the title is a reference to the drug heroin.
43. Storyteller __ Christian Andersen : HANS
The wonderful storyteller Hans Christian Andersen became very successful in his own lifetime. In 1847 he visited England for the summer and made a triumphal tour of English society’s most fashionable drawing rooms. There Andersen met with the equally successful Charles Dickens, and the two seemed to hit it off. Ten years later Andersen returned to England and stayed for five weeks in Dickens’ home as his guest. Dickens published “David Copperfield” soon after, and supposedly the less than lovable character Uriah Heep was based on Dickens’ house guest Hans Christian Andersen. That wasn’t very nice!
44. Key of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony : D MINOR
Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is his wonderful “Choral” symphony. When it was composed in 1824 it was the first time that a major composer had used voices in a symphony. By the time of the Ninth’s premier, Beethoven was essentially deaf. He insisted on sharing the stage with the musical director (who was conducting), and was visibly counting out time but was off by quite a few measures. When the last notes were played there was enthusiastic applause, although Beethoven was still conducting. The lead contralto had to walk over to Beethoven, stop him, and turn him to the audience to receive his adulation.
49. Train cos. : RRS
51. Emmy-winning travel and cuisine show hosted by Anthony Bourdain : PARTS UNKNOWN
Anthony Bourdain is a chef, author and television personality from New York City. Bourdain’s celebrity came with the publication of his book “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly” in 2000. Bourdain moved on to host the television shows “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations” and “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown”.
56. Canon SLR camera : EOS
I’ve been using Canon EOS cameras for decades now, and have nothing but good things to say about both the cameras and the lenses. The EOS name stands for Electro-Optical System, and was chosen because it evokes the name of Eos, the Titan goddess of dawn from Greek mythology.
58. “If you ask me,” briefly : IMO
In my opinion (IMO)
59. Like this crossword ans. : ACR
60. Hole in __ : ONE
One well-documented hole in one (ace) was during a round of the British Open in 1973. American golfer Gene Sarazen achieved the feat that day, at the age of 71. A less well-documented series of holes in one was reported by the North Korean press in a story about the Korean leader Kim Jong-il. The report was that Kim Jong-il scored 11 holes in one in his one and only round of golf.
67. ATM maker : NCR
NCR is an American company that has been in business since 1884, and was originally called the National Cash Register Company. The company has done well in a market where new technologies seem to be constantly disrupting the status quo.
1. Sch. with a Tempe campus : ASU
Arizona State University (ASU) has a long history, and was founded as the Tempe Normal School for the Arizona Territory in 1885. The athletic teams of ASU used to be known as the Normals, then the Bulldogs, and since 1946 they’ve been called the Sun Devils.
2. She plays Dr. Cristina Yang in “Grey’s Anatomy” : SANDRA OH
The Canadian actress Sandra Oh is very much associated these days with the role of Dr. Cristina Yang on “Grey’s Anatomy”. However, my favorite of Oh’s performances are in the movies “Under the Tuscan Sun” and “Sideways”.
3. Stirred up a cloud of dust at, as a base : SLID INTO
That would be baseball.
6. Bolshevik leader : LENIN
At the second party congress of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party in 1903, a split developed. The faction with the most support was led by Vladimir Lenin, and as they were in the majority, they became known as the Bolsheviks, derived from the Russian word for “more” or “majority”. Lenin and the Bolsheviks led the October Revolution of 1917, as a result of which Lenin came to power. He headed the new Soviet State during it’s formative years.
7. Battle of Britain fliers: Abbr. : RAF
The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the oldest independent air force in the world (i.e. the first air force to become independent of army or navy forces). The RAF was formed during WWI on 1 April 1918, a composite of two earlier forces, the Royal Flying Corps (part of the Army) and the Royal Naval Air Service. The RAF’s “finest hour” has to be the Battle of Britain when the vastly outnumbered British fighters fought off the might of the Luftwaffe causing Hitler to delay his plan to cross the English Channel. This outcome prompted Winston Churchill to utter the memorable words
Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.
10. Invasive Japanese vine : KUDZU
Kudzu is a climbing vine that is native to southern Japan and southeast China. “Kudzu” is derived from the Japanese name for the plant, “kuzu”. Kudzu is a vigorously growing weed that chokes other plants by climbing all over them and shielding them from light. Kudzu was brought to the US from Asia for the Japanese pavilion in the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. It was marketed as an ornamental, especially in the southeast of the country, and now is all over the region. Kudzu earned itself the nickname “the vine that ate the South”.
12. Poll founder Louis : HARRIS
The market research firm known as “The Harris Poll” was founded in 1963 by Louis Harris with the specific aim of conducting polls for political candidates. Louis Harris had worked privately for the successful 1960 presidential campaign of John F. Kennedy.
15. Personal bearing : MIEN
One’s mien is one’s bearing or manner. “Mien” shares the same etymological root as our word “demeanor”.
18. Ring ref’s decision : TKO
Technical knockout (TKO)
23. Snake that bit Cleopatra : ASP
The asp is a venomous snake found in the Nile region of Africa. It is so venomous that the asp was used in ancient Egypt and Greece as a means of execution. Cleopatra observed such executions noting that the venom brought on sleepiness without any painful spasms. When the great queen opted to commit suicide, the asp was therefore her chosen method.
24. Thomas __ Edison : ALVA
Thomas Alva Edison (TAE) was nicknamed “The Wizard of Menlo Park” by a newspaper reporter, a name that stuck. He was indeed a wizard, in the sense that he was such a prolific inventor. The Menlo Park part of the moniker recognizes the location of his first research lab, in Menlo Park, New Jersey.
26. Irish poet : YEATS
Irish poet and dramatist William Butler Yeats won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1923 for “inspired poetry” that gave “expression to a whole nation”. Yeats was Ireland’s first Nobel laureate.
27. Cloth-eating insect : MOTH
The larvae of several types of moth are noted for eating fabrics made from natural fibers such as wool or cotton. Many people store woolens in cedar chests believing that the scent of the wood prevents a moth infestation. In fact, the only known effective repellent is the naphthalene found in mothballs, which might be a health concern for humans. One way to kill moth larvae in fabric is to freeze the garment for several days at a temperature below 8 degrees centigrade.
30. German article : DER
The definite article in German is der, die or das, for masculine, feminine and neuter nouns. The indefinite article is ein, eine or ein, again depending on the gender of the noun. A further complication, relative to English, is that the masculine form (and only the masculine form) of the article changes when used in the accusative case, when used with the object of a sentence. The accusative forms are “den” and “einen”.
34. Jacket style named for an Indian leader : NEHRU
A Nehru jacket is very like a regular suit jacket, except that the collar buttons at the neck. It was originally created in the 1940s in India, and then marketed as the Nehru jacket in the west in the sixties. The name Nehru was lifted from Jawaharlal Nehru, the prime minister of India from 1947 to 1964.
35. Capital of Belarus : MINSK
Minsk is the capital of Belarus, formerly known as the Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. One of Minsk’s more infamous residents was Lee Harvey Oswald, who lived there from 1960 to 1962.
38. Arabian Sea nation : OMAN
The Arabian Sea is an arm of the Indian Ocean that lies off the south coasts of Oman, Yemen, Pakistan and Iran, and is bounded in the west by Somalia, and in the east by India.
42. Love god : EROS
As always seems to be the case with Greek gods, Eros and Aphrodite have overlapping spheres of influence. Aphrodite was the goddess of love between a man and a woman, and Eros was the god who stirred the passions of the male. The Roman equivalent of Aphrodite was Venus, and the equivalent of Eros was Cupid.
47. Blood carrier : ARTERY
Arteries are vessels that carry blood away from the heart, and veins are vessels carrying blood to the heart.
52. The third letter of 13-Down (but not the second) : SOFT C
(13D. Receive willingly : ACCEPT)
The first letter C in the word “accept” is a hard C, and second is a soft C.
54. Texter’s “Crikey!” : OMG
OMG is text-speak for “Oh My Gosh!” “Oh My Goodness!” or any other G-words you might think of …
“Crikey” is an exclamation, and is probably a euphemism for “Christ”.
64. Web access co. : ISP
Internet service provider (ISP)
66. NFL scores : TDS