Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers are common phrases, but with a letter O changed to OU:
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
9. Chophouse order : FILET
A fillet is a boneless cut of meat or fish. The term comes from the Old French “filet” meaning “small thread, filament”. Apparently we applied the term to food as the piece of fish or meat was tied up with string after it was boned. Here in the US, we tend to use the French spelling “filet”.
14. Young Clark’s love : LANA
Smallville, Kansas is the town on Earth in which Superman grew up (as Clark Kent). One of Clark’s best friends in Smallville, and the romantic interest of his youth, was Lana Lang.
15. 90 degrees from norte : ESTE
The cardinal directions in Spanish are “norte” (north), “este” (east), “sur” (south) and “oeste” (west).
16. Century plant, e.g. : AGAVE
“Century plant” and “American aloe” are common names for the flowering plant Agave americana. The century plant lives for maybe 10-30 years (not a hundred!). It flowers only once, towards the end of a long life. It dies after flowering.
17. Hindustani tongue : URDU
Urdu is one of the two official languages of Pakistan (the other being English), and is one of 22 scheduled languages in India. Urdu partly developed from Persian and is written from right to left.
“Hindustan” is a historical name for the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent.
19. Trick : COZEN
“To cozen” is such a lovely verb! Meaning to cheat or hoodwink, it comes from the Middle English word “cosin” meaning fraud or trickery.
20. Computer accessory honored in verse? : MOUSE OF POETRY (from “muse of poetry”)
The first computer mouse was invented at the Stanford Research Institute in 1963, by one Douglas Engelbart. Sadly for him, his patent ran out before mice became standard equipment on computers, so he never made any money from his amazing invention.
In Greek mythology, the muses are the goddesses who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. The number of muses is a subject of debate at times, but the most popular view is that there are nine:
- Calliope (epic poetry)
- Clio (history)
- Erato (lyric poetry)
- Euterpe (music)
- Melpomene (tragedy)
- Polyhymnia (choral poetry)
- Terpsichore (dance)
- Thalia (comedy)
- Urania (astronomy)
Before the adoption of the nine muses of Greek mythology, there were originally three muses, the three Boeotian Muses. These were:
- Mneme (memory)
- Melete (meditation)
- Aoede (song)
23. Construction alloy : STEEL
Steel is an alloy that is composed mainly of iron, with a small percentage of carbon.
24. RSVP part : S’IL
RSVP stands for “répondez s’il vous plaît”, which is French for “answer please”.
28. Olympic dominance by Team USA? : AMERICA’S COUP (from “America’s Cup”)
A coup d’état (often just “coup”) is the sudden overthrow of a government, and comes from the French for “stroke of state”. The Swiss-German word “putsch” is sometimes used instead of “coup”, with “Putsch” translating literally as “sudden blow”.
The America’s Cup is a trophy that has been awarded for yacht racing since 1851. It was first presented to the winner of a race around the Isle of Wight in England that was won by a schooner called “America”. The trophy was eventually renamed to “the America’s Cup” in honor of that first race winner.
33. Virgin __ Records: British label : EMI
Virgin EMI Records is a label that formed in 2013 with the merger of Mercury Records UK and Virgin Records. The list of artists recording with Virgin EMI includes Justin Bieber, Elton John, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney, U2, Willie Nelson and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
37. Canadian coin since 1996 : TOONIE
“Toonie” is the familiar name for a two-dollar coin in Canada. The toonie was introduced in 1996, and gets its familiar name from the one-dollar coin known as a “loonie”.
The great northern loon is the provincial bird of Ontario, and the state bird of Minnesota. The loon once appeared on Canadian $20 bills and also appears on the Canadian one-dollar coin, giving the coin the nickname “the loonie”.
43. Mine in Milan : MIO
Milan is Italy’s second largest city, second only to Rome. Milan is a European fashion capital, the headquarters for the big Italian fashion houses of Valentino, Gucci, Versace, Armani, Prada and others. Mario Prada was even born in Milan, and helped establish the city’s reputation in the world of fashion.
44. Conscription agcy. : SSS
The US government maintains information on all males who are potentially subject to military conscription, using what is called the Selective Service System (SSS). In the event that a draft was held, men registered would be classified into groups to determine eligibility for service. Class 1-A registrants are those available for unrestricted military service. Other classes are 1-A-O (conscientious objector available for noncombatant service), 4-A (registrant who has completed military service) and 4-D (Minister of religion).
45. How some medieval knights described their relationships? : JOUST FRIENDS (from “just friends”)
Tilting is the most recognized form of jousting. Jousting can involve the use of a number of different weapons, but when lances are used the competition is called “tilting”. Jousting took place in a roped-off enclosure that was called the lists, or list field. In later medieval times, some castles and palaces had purpose-built “tiltyards” that were used for jousting. Do you remember where the Beach Volleyball events were held in the 2012 London Olympics? Well that was Horse Guards Parade, the former tiltyard for the Palace of Whitehall that was used in the time of King Henry VIII.
49. “__ Fell”: Beatles : IF I
“If I Fell” is one of my favorite ballads by the Beatles. It’s a John Lennon composition that was released in 1964 on the album “A Hard Day’s Night”, and was featured in the movie of the same name.
50. Chicago’s __ Center : AON
The Aon Center in Chicago is the third-tallest building in the city. There is also an Aon Center in Los Angeles that is the second-tallest building in that city.
55. Grammarian’s treatise? : THE NOUN’S STORY (from “The Nun’s Story”)
“The Nun’s Story” is a novel by Kathryn Hulme first published in 1956. The story is based on the experiences of Hulme’s friend, former nun and nurse Marie Louise Habets. Famously, “The Nun’s Story” was adapted into a film in 1959 with Audrey Hepburn in the title role.
62. Watch part : STEM
The stem of a watch is the shaft that projects from the body and which is used to wind the mechanism. Prior to the introduction of stem watches, the timepieces were wound up using a key.
63. Potpourri quality : ODOR
The French term “pot pourri” literally translates to “rotten pot”, but in France it used to mean “stew”. Over time, the term “potpourri” evolved in English usage to mean a “medley”, and eventually a mixture of dried flowers and spices.
64. Did a gainer, say : DIVED
A gainer is a dive in which the diver leaves the board while facing forward, but makes a backward somersault, entering the water feet first.
65. Yokohama product : TIRE
The Yokohama Rubber Company is a tire manufacturer based in Tokyo that was founded in 1917. The company was established back then as a joint venture between Yokohama Cable Manufacturing and B.F Goodrich, based in Akron, Ohio.
66. Eric who founded an eclectic reader : UTNE
The “Utne Reader” is known for aggregation and republishing of articles on politics, culture and the environment from other sources in the media. The “Utne Reader” was founded in 1984 by Eric Utne, with management taken over by Eric’s wife Nina Rothschild Utne in 1990.
67. Autobahn autos : OPELS
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.
69. The ten in “hang ten” : TOES
“To hang ten” is a verb used in surfing. A surfer hangs ten when he or she is able to walk forward and hang ten toes over the nose of the board because the back of the board is covered by the wave being ridden.
1. Frequents dive bars, say : SLUMS
We’ve been using the word “dive” in American English for a run-down bar since the latter half of the 19th century. The term comes from the fact that disreputable taverns were usually located in basements, so one had to literally and figuratively dive into them.
2. Deck with a Hanged Man : TAROT
Tarot cards have been around since the mid-1400s, and for centuries were simply used for entertainment as a game. It has only been since the late 1800s that the cards have been used by fortune tellers to predict the future. The list of tarot cards includes the Wheel of Fortune, the Hanged Man and the Lovers.
5. Certain auction offering : REPO
10. “Young Frankenstein” helper : IGOR
In the world of movies, Igor has been the assistant to Dracula, Frankenstein and Young Frankenstein among others. Igor is almost invariably portrayed as a hunchback.
I am not really a big fan of movies by Mel Brooks, but “Young Frankenstein” is the exception. I think the cast has a lot to do with me liking the film, as it includes Gene Wilder (Dr. Frankenstein), Teri Garr (Inga), Marty Feldman (Igor) and Gene Hackman (Harold, the blind man).
13. Coffee break time : TEN
The coffee break that often takes place mid-morning in the US is equivalent to a similar routine in Britain known as “elevenses”, and “smoko” in Australia.
21. “Slippery” tree : ELM
The slippery elm is a species of elm native to North America that is also known as the Red Elm. The inner bark of the slippery elm can used in a medicinal tea. Elm bark tea is said to ease a sore throat or irritated stomach.
27. Essays appearing daily : OP-EDS
“Op-ed” is an abbreviation for “opposite the editorial page”. Op-eds started in “The New York Evening World” in 1921 when the page opposite the editorials was used for articles written by a named guest writer, someone independent of the editorial board.
29. “Get on Your Feet” singer : ESTEFAN
Gloria Estefan is a Cuban American singer, born in Havana. Estefan fled Cuba along with her family after the Cuban Revolution, and ended up in Miami. Her father fought for the US military in Vietnam, and also took part in the doomed Bay of Pigs invasion. Years later, Estefan herself was approached by the CIA to work for the agency due to her skill with languages. She ended up doing quite well singing instead …
“Get on Your Feet” is a song released by Gloria Estefan in 1989. The song’s title gave rise to the name “On Your Feet!” being used for the 2015 musical based on the lives and music of Gloria Estefan and her husband Emilio.
30. Anonymous ’70s litigant : ROE
Roe v. Wade was decided in a US District Court in Texas in 1970, and reached the Supreme Court on appeal. The basic decision by the Supreme Court was that a woman’s constitutional right to privacy applied to an abortion, but that this right had to be balanced with a state’s interest in protecting an unborn child and a mother’s health. The Court further defined that the state’s interest became stronger with each trimester of a pregnancy. So, in the first trimester the woman’s right to privacy outweighed any state interest. In the second trimester the state’s interest in maternal health was deemed to be strong enough to allow state regulation of abortion for the sake of the mother. In the third trimester the viability of the fetus dictated that the state’s interest in the unborn child came into play, so states could regulate or prohibit abortions, except in cases where the mother’s life was in danger. I’m no lawyer, but that’s my understanding of the initial Supreme Court decision …
31. Song on the album “ABBA” : SOS
The ABBA song “S.O.S.” was originally titled “Turn Me On”. In the movie “Mama Mia!”, “S.O.S.” is performed by Meryl Streep (brilliantly) and by Pierce Brosnan (terribly).
33. The Oxford Dictionaries 2015 “Word” of the Year is one : EMOJI
An emoji is a character found on many cell phones now that is much like an emoticon, but more elaborate.
34. “__ Constant Sorrow”: folk classic : MAN OF
“Man of Constant Sorrow” is a traditional American folk song that was first published in 1913 under the title “Farewell Song”. The title “Man of Constant Sorrow” dates back to a 1928 version. There was a revival in interest in the song after is was featured in the 2000 movie “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”
39. Wagner’s “__ Rheingold” : DAS
“Das Rheingold” is an 1869 opera by Richard Wagner, the first of four works that comprise his famous “Ring Cycle”.
Richard Wagner’s “Ring Cycle” is more properly called “Der Ring des Nibelungen” (The Ring of Nibelung), and comprises four very, very long operas. The individual operas are:
- “Das Rheingold”
- “Die Walkure”
41. Gambling cube : DIE
The numbers on dice are arranged so that the opposite faces add up to seven. Given this arrangement, the numbers 1, 2 and 3 all meet at a common vertex. There are two ways of arranging the 1, 2 and 3 around the common vertex, a so called right-handed die (clockwise 1-2-3) or a left-handed die (counterclockwise 1-2-3). Traditionally, dice used in Western cultures are right-handed, whereas Chinese dice are left-handed. Quite interesting …
43. Trivial matter : MINUTIA
Trivia are things of little consequence. “Trivia” is the plural of the Latin word “trivium” which means “a place where three roads meet”. Now that’s what I call a trivial fact …
47. Kicks off the field, briefly : DQS
54. Lew in old movies : AYRES
The Hollywood actor Lew Ayres got his big break in “All Quiet On the Western Front”. Famously, he also played Dr. Kildare in several movies. Ayres’ private life wasn’t too dull. He was married three times, Lola Lane and Ginger Rogers being wives one and two. Ayres was also the man for whom actress Jane Wyman left her husband Ronald Reagan, although the Ayres-Wyman relationship didn’t last very long.
58. Soft ball : NERF
Nerf is soft material used in a whole series of toys designed for “safe” play indoors. The Nerf product is used to make darts, balls and ammunition for toy guns. “NERF” is an acronym, standing for Non-Expanding Recreational Foam.
59. “Hook” pirate : SMEE
In J. M. Barrie’s play and novel about Peter Pan, Smee is one of Captain Hook’s pirates and is Hook’s right-hand man. Smee is described by Barrie as being “Irish” and “a man who stabbed without offence”. Nice guy! Captain Hook and Smee sail on the pirate ship called the Jolly Roger.
“Hook” is a very enjoyable 1991 movie directed by Steven Spielberg that is based on J.M. Barrie’s 1911 novel “Peter and Wendy”. Spielberg elicited great performances from a great cast in “Hook”. Included in the cast are Robin Williams as Peter, Dustin Hoffman as Hook, Julia Roberts as Tinkerbell, Bob Hoskins as Smee and Maggie Smith as a mature Wendy.