Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers common phrases, but with a letter U missing:
- 39A…Retirement party remark … or a homophonic hint to four long Across answers..YOU WILL BE MISSED
- 17A…Fishing spot for vacationing Londoners?..BRITISH POND (“British pound” missing U)
- 20A…Legwear for air travelers?..BOARDING HOSE (“boarding house” missing U)
- 54A…007 returning from assignment?..HOMEWARD BOND (“homeward bound” missing U)
- 60A…Vacant look?..STERILE GAZE (“sterile gauze” missing U)
Bill’s errors: 2
- PAVE (pare)
- AVEENO (Areeno)
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
SONIC Drive-In is a fast-food restaurant chain that is noted for its carhops who serve patrons on roller skates. SONIC was founded in Shawnee, Oklahoma in 1953 as Top Hat Drive-In. The restaurant introduced curbside speakers to hasten the ordering process. This led to the adoption of the slogan “Service at the Speed of Sound”, and renaming of the chain to SONIC.
8…Shrinking section at Barnes & Noble..CDS
Barnes & Noble (B&N) is the oldest retailer of books in the US. The company started out in the book-printing business in 1873 and opened its first true bookstore in 1917, in New York City.
14…Anatomical rings in irises..AREOLAE
An areola (sometimes “areole”) in anatomy is a small ring of color, as in the areola surrounding the nipple, and the areola surrounding the pupil of the eye. “Areola” comes from Latin, meaning “small open space”, and is a diminutive of the Latin word “area”, meaning “open space”.
The iris is the colored part of the eye with an aperture in the center that can open or close depending on the level of light hitting the eye.
17…Fishing spot for vacationing Londoners?..BRITISH POND (“British pound” missing U)
The official name of the currency of the UK is the pound sterling (plural “pounds sterling”). The most plausible suggestion for the etymology of the term “sterling” is that it derives from the Old English “steorra” meaning “star”, with the diminutive “-ling”. The resulting “little star” or “sterling” referred to a silver penny used by the English Normans.
20…Legwear for air travelers?..BOARDING HOSE (“boarding house” missing U)
The word “hose” meaning a “covering for the leg” has the same roots as the contemporary German word “Hose” meaning “trousers, pants”.
33…P replacers, in some lineups..DHS
In baseball, designated hitters (DHs) might replace the pitcher (P) at bat.
42…Epps of “House”..OMAR
Omar Epps is the actor who played Eric Forman on the excellent television series “House”. Prior to playing Dr. Forman, Epps had a recurring role playing Dr. Dennis Grant on “ER”. And, in another link to the world of medicine, Epps was born in Savannah, Georgia to single mom, Dr. Bonnie Epps.
A macroinstruction (usually shortened to “macro”) is a set of instructions in a computer program that are abbreviated to one simple command.
The genus Felis includes the domestic cat and other small, wild cats. The Latin word for “cat” is “feles”.
Sylvester J. Pussycat was also known as Puddy Tat, and was a character who appeared in “Looney Tunes” and “Merrie Melodies” cartoons. Sylvester was the cat who was often trying to get the better of Tweety Bird, Speedy Gonzales and Hippety Hopper. Sylvester’s trademark line is the exclamation “Sufferin’ succotash!”, which emphasizes the characters pronounced lisp.
47…Radius, e.g…ARM BONE
The radius and ulna are bones in the forearm. If you hold the palm of your hand up in front of you, the radius is the bone on the “thumb-side” of the arm, and the ulna is the bone on the “pinkie-side”.
49…”The Great Escape” setting..STALAG
“Stalag” was the term used for a prisoner-of-war camp in Germany. Stalag is an abbreviation for Stammlager, which in turn is the short form of Mannschaft Stamm und Straflager, literally meaning “crew master and prison camp”.
“The Great Escape” is a 1944 non-fiction book by Paul Brickhill that recounts the story of a mass escape from Stalag Luft III in Germany. Brickhill was actually a participant in the breakout. Famously, the book was adapted into a very successful 1963 movie starring Steve McQueen and Richard Attenborough.
54…007 returning from assignment?..HOMEWARD BOND (“homeward bound” missing U)
James Bond was the creation of writer Ian Fleming. Fleming “stole” the James Bond name from an American ornithologist. The number 007 was “stolen” from the real-life, 16th century English spy called John Dee. Dee would sign his reports to Queen Elizabeth I with a stylized “007” to indicate that the reports were for “her eyes only”. There’s an entertaining miniseries that aired on BBC America called “Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond” that details Ian Fleming’s military career, and draws some nice parallels between Fleming’s experiences and aspirations and those of his hero James Bond. Recommended …
60…Vacant look?..STERILE GAZE (“sterile gauze” missing U)
64…Toondom’s Phineas, to Ferb..PAL
“Phineas and Ferb” is an animated TV series on the Disney channel. The lead characters are Phineas Flynn and his stepbrother Ferb Fletcher.
65…Strauss’ “__ Heldenleben”..EIN
The title of Richard Strauss’ tone poem “Ein Heldenleben” translates into English as “A Hero’s Life”.
66…Like the edges of some mirrors..BEVELED
A bevelled edged is like a chamfered edge. The edge of a mirror is often bevelled, meaning that it is cut at an angle that isn’t perpendicular to the mirror’s surface.
67…Dodge City-to-Topeka dir…ENE
Fort Dodge was in Kansas, on the Santa Fe Trail (connecting Missouri with Santa Fe, New Mexico). The fort was named after Major General Grenville M. Dodge who was in charge of the army presence in the area. The fort gave its name to Dodge City, Kansas that grew up nearby the fort.
Topeka is the capital of Kansas, and is located on the Kansas River in the northeast of the state. The name “Topeka” was chosen in 1855 and translates from the Kansa and the Ioway languages as “to dig good potatoes”. The reference isn’t to the common potato but rather to the herb known as the prairie potato (also “prairie turnip”), which was an important food for many Native Americans.
“TNT” is an abbreviation for trinitrotoluene. Trinitrotoluene was first produced in 1863 by the German chemist Joseph Wilbrand, who developed it for use as a yellow dye. TNT is relatively difficult to detonate so it was on the market as a dye for some years before its more explosive properties were discovered.
Los Angeles International Airport is the sixth busiest airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic, and the busiest here on the West Coast of the US. The airport was opened in 1930 as Mines Field and was renamed to Los Angeles Airport in 1941. On the airport property is the iconic white structure that resembles a flying saucer. This is called the Theme Building and I believe it is mainly used as a restaurant and observation deck for the public. The airport used to be identified by the letters “LA”, but when the aviation industry went to a three-letter standard for airport identification, this was changed to “LAX”. Apparently the “X” has no significant meaning.
3…Bonn : König :: Lisbon : __..REI
“Rei” is the Portuguese word for “king”, and “König” is the German.
After WWII, Bonn was chosen as the capital of West Germany, a choice promoted by Chancellor Konrad Adenauer who was from the area. After German reunification, the capital was moved to Berlin.
Lisbon is the capital of Portugal. Lisbon is the westernmost capital city in Europe, and indeed is the westernmost large city on the continent. It is also the oldest city in Western Europe and was founded hundreds of years before London, Paris and Rome.
4…Place of rapid growth..HOTBED
A “hotbed” is formed from a pile of organic matter that is allowed to decay. As decomposition takes place due to the action of microorganisms, the pile becomes hotter than its surroundings, hence the name “hotbed”. We’ve been using “hotbed” figuratively since the mid-18th century to describe a place that fosters rapid growth.
“Olio” is a term meaning a hodgepodge or a mixture, coming from the mixed stew of the same name. The stew in turn takes its name from the Spanish “olla”, the clay pot used for cooking.
In Spanish, “que pasa?” literally translates as “what happened?” but is used to mean “how have things been going with you?”.
7…Very, in Vienna..SEHR
Vienna is the capital of Austria. Vienna has a long musical tradition and was home to Franz Schubert, Johann Strauss (I and II), Josef Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms and Gustav Mahler. As such, Vienna is sometimes called the “City of Music”. It is also called the “City of Dreams” as it was home to the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud.
8…”Carmina Burana” performers..CHOIR
“Carmina Burana” is a cantata by Carl Orff based on a collection of medieval poems that go by the same name. The name translates as “Songs from Beuern”. The best known movement of the cantata by far is the dramatic “O Fortuna” used at the opening and closing of the piece. One study placed “O Fortuna” as the most often played piece of classical music in the UK over the past 75 years, largely due to its use in television commercials. Famously, the piece appeared in the US in ads for Gatorade and Old Spice aftershave.
9…”It tolls for thee” poet..DONNE
John Donne wrote a piece of prose called “Devotions upon Emergent Occasions”. One passage contains two phrases that are oft-quoted: “No man is an island”, and “for whom the bell tolls”.
No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.
Sedges are a family of plants that resemble grasses and rushes. Sedges are more properly called Cyperaceae.
Avis has been around since 1946, and is the second largest car rental agency after Hertz. Avis has the distinction of being the first car rental company to locate a branch at an airport.
National Car Rental was founded back in 1947, a conglomerate of 24 independent rental agencies that already existed around the country.
Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format introduced by Adobe Systems in 1993. PDF documents can be shared between users and read using many different applications, making them more universally accessible than documents saved by one particular program.
Basketball is truly an American sport. It was created in 1891 by a James Naismith at the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts. His goal was to create something active and interesting for his students in the gym. The first “hoops” were actually peach baskets, with the bottoms of the baskets intact. When a player got the ball into the “net”, someone had to clamber up and get the ball back out again in order to continue the game!
22…After “Our” and with 54-Down, title for the Virgin Mary based on an 1871 apparition..LADY OF …
(54D…See 22-Down.. … HOPE)
In the Roman Catholic tradition, one of the titles given to the Virgin Mary is Our Lady of Pontmain, after an apparition at Pontmain in northwestern France in 1871. An alternative title arising from the same incident is Our Lady of Hope.
23…Where many strikes are called..AT HOME
That would be in baseball.
The sash worn as part of traditional Japanese dress is known as an obi. The obi can be tied in what is called a butterfly knot.
The Japanese term “geisha” best translates as “artist” or “performing artist”.
29…WWII White House dog..FALA
Fala was the famous Scottish Terrier that was ever present at the side of President Franklin D. Roosevelt for many years. The terrier was a Christmas gift to the president from his cousin, who had named the dog Big Boy while she trained him as a puppy. President Roosevelt renamed him after an ancestor of his from Falahill in Scotland, so the dog’s full name was Murray the Outlaw of Falahill. Fala lived on for several years after the president’s passing. I’ve had the privilege of visiting the gravesites of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt in Hyde Park, New York, and Fala is buried just a few feet away from his master.
31…Johnson & Johnson brand..AVEENO
Aveeno is a manufacturer of skincare and haircare products that was founded in 1945. The name Aveeno comes from the Latin name for the common oat: “Avena sativa”.
32…Hard-working “little” folk tale critter..RED HEN
“The Little Red Hen” is an old folk tale, probably from Russia. In the story, the little red hen finds a grain of wheat and asks for help to plant it. “Not I” is the response she gets, repeatedly. She does the work herself, eventually baking bread from the harvested grain. She asks for help in eating the bread, and gets lots of volunteers. But, the hen decides to save the bread for herself and her chicks, seeing as no one would help her plant the wheat in the first place.
35…”30 Rock” network..NBC
“30 Rock” is a sitcom on NBC that was created by the show’s star Tina Fey. Fey is an ex-performer and writer from “Saturday Night Live” and uses her experiences on that show as a basis for the “30 Rock” storyline. Fey plays Liz Lemon, the head writer for the fictional sketch comedy series “TGS with Tracy Jordan”.
36…Michael of “Arrested Development”..CERA
Michael Cera is a Canadian actor, a very talented young man who is riding high right now. He played great characters on the TV show “Arrested Development”, and the 2007 comedy-drama “Juno”. More recently he played the title role in “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”.
37…__ vincit omnia..AMOR
“Omnia vincit amor” is a line from Eclogue X, one of the major works of the Latin poet Virgil. We know the phrase in English as “love conquers all”.
40…Work on a novel..WRITE
Our word “novel”, used for a lengthy work of fiction, comes from the Latin “novella” meaning “new things”.
The Roman forum was the public space in the middle of a city, taking it’s name from the Latin word “forum” meaning “marketplace, town square”. “The Roman Forum” is most famous example of such a space. The Forum is at the heart of the city of Rome, is surrounded by the ruins of several ancient government buildings, and has been referred to as the most celebrated meeting play in the world.
52…E. Berlin’s land..GDR
The former East Germany was known officially as the German Democratic Republic (GDR), or Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR).
55…African city on the Mediterranean..ORAN
Oran lies on the Algerian coast, and is famous for being the port where the French Navy was largely destroyed by the British during WWII in order to avoid the French vessels falling into the hands of Nazi Germany after France surrendered. This decisive and unexpected unilateral action by the British sent a very strong message around the world that Britain was willing to fight alone against the axis powers if necessary.
Bibb is a variety of lettuce in the cultivar known as butterhead. All butterhead varieties have loose-leafed heads and a buttery texture.
Romaine is also known as cos lettuce, with the “romaine” name being most common here in North America.
Emperor Louis Napoleon III of France announced a competition to develop a substitute for butter, a substitute that would be more accessible to the lower classes and more practical for the armed forces. A French chemist called Hippolyte Mege-Mouries came up with something he called oleomargarine in 1869, which was eventually manufactured under the trade name “margarine”. The name “oleomargarine” also gives us our generic term “oleo”.
58…St. Petersburg’s river..NEVA
The Neva is a very large river that spills into the Gulf of Finland at the beautiful city of St. Petersburg. The river forms an expansive delta as it reaches the Baltic Sea and the delta gives rise to numerous islands, with the number of islands further increased by a network of canals. The historic part of the city is built on these islands giving St. Petersburg a very Venetian feel. I had the privilege of visiting the city some years ago, and I can attest that it is indeed spectacular …
61…Space bar neighbor..ALT
The Alt (alternate) key is found on either side of the space bar on US PC keyboards. The Alt key evolved from what was called a Meta key on old MIT keyboards, although the function has changed somewhat over the years. Alt is equivalent in many ways to the Option key on a Mac keyboard, and indeed the letters “Alt” have been printed on most Mac keyboards starting in the nineties.
62…What’s found in central Arizona?..ZEE
There is a letter Z (zee) found in the center of the word “Arizona”.
63…Byrnes of ’50s-’60s TV..EDD
I used to watch “77 Sunset Strip” as a lad growing up in Ireland. It is an American show that ran from 1958 to 1964. Two of the central characters are former government secret agents, now working as private detectives. Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. plays Stu Bailey, and Roger Smith plays Jeff Spencer. And who can forget Kookie, played by Edd Byrnes? Years later, Byrnes played smooth-talking TV dance show host Vince Fontaine in the 1978 movie “Grease”.