Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers are common two-word phrases starting with IN-, but we’ve DROPPED that IN prefix:
- 23A. Knowing one makes the best moonshine? : (in)STILL CONFIDENCE
- 30A. Pressing concern? : (in)CREASE QUALITY
- 42A. Vessel for the corporate lake outing? : (in)BOARD MOTORBOAT
- 64A. Where geese learn the ABCs of Vs? : (in)FORMATION CENTER
- 88A. Passable publicity? : (in)DECENT EXPOSURE
- 95A. Close examination of past and present English? : (in)TENSE SCRUTINY
- 110A. Priest’s fashion consultant? : (in)VESTMENT ADVISER
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
7. Heavenly bear : URSA
The constellation called Ursa Major (Latin for “Larger Bear”) is often just called the Big Dipper because of its resemblance to a ladle or dipper. Ursa Major also resembles a plow, and that’s what we usually call the same constellation back in Ireland, the “plough”.
Ursa Minor (Latin for “Smaller Bear”) sits right beside the constellation Draco (Latin for “dragon”). Ursa Minor used to be considered the wing of Draco, and so was once called “Dragon’s Wing”.
11. East Lansing sch. : MSU
Michigan State University (MSU) is located in East Lansing, Michigan. MSU has the largest study-abroad program of any single-campus university in the US. Programs are offered on all continents of the world, including Antarctica. The MSU athletic teams are known as the Spartans.
14. Vice __ : VERSA
“Vice versa” is a Latin phrase meaning “with position turned”. We always pronounce this term “incorrectly”. In Latin, a “c” is a hard sound, and a “v” is pronounced like a “w”. The pronunciation should be something like “wee-kay wehr-sa”.
19. “Seinfeld” role : ELAINE
The character called Elaine Benes, unlike the other lead characters (Jerry, Kramer and George), did not appear in the pilot episode of “Seinfeld”. NBC executives specified the addition of a female lead when they picked up the show citing that the situation was too “male-centric”.
20. Groups on its covers included ‘N Sync and Hanson : TEEN BEAT
“Teen Beat” was a fan magazine geared towards teenagers that was published from 1967 to 2007. It was a follow-on publication to “16 Magazine” that was launched in 1956, and “Tiger Beat” launched in 1965.
25. “I Am the Walrus” was one : SIDE B
“I Am the Walrus” is a Beatles song released in 1967. It was written by John Lennon, with the Walrus being a reference to the poem “The Walrus and the Carpenter” from Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking-Glass”.
26. Fair instrument : CALLIOPE
A calliope is a musical instrument that was patented in 1855. It’s a pretty loud device, one that produces sound by sending steam or compressed air through large whistles. Calliopes are often seen at circuses, fairgrounds and on steamboats.
28. Land of the banshee : EIRE
A banshee is a female spirit in Irish mythology, from the Irish “bean sí” meaning “woman of the fairy mounds”. The banshee is supposedly heard wailing in the night, especially when someone is about to die.
29. Songwriter Sands : EVIE
Evie Sands is a singer from Brooklyn, New York. Sands is also a noted songwriter, having penned songs that have been recorded by the likes of Barbra Streisand, Gladys Knight, Karen Carpenter, Linda Ronstadt and Dusty Springfield.
36. Energy pricing unit : BARREL
The volume of one oil barrel is equivalent to 42 US gallons. A barrel is correctly abbreviated to “bbl”. Barrels aren’t really used for transporting crude oil anymore. Instead, oil moves in bulk through pipelines and in tankers. “Barrel” is just a quantity these days.
40. “Friendly Skies” co. : UAL
United Airlines used the tagline “Fly the Friendly Skies” in its marketing materials from 1965 to 1996. It was then replaced with “It’s time to fly”. United chose George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” as the company’s theme music in 1976, and paid the Gershwin estate a fee of $500,000 for the privilege.
41. Quicken product : E-LOAN
E-Loan used to be based just down the road from me in the San Francisco Bay Area, but after takeover by a Rosemont, Illinois company it was moved to the parent’s headquarters. E-Loan was founded in 1997 to provide customers access to mortgages over the Internet.
50. Stand __ : PAT
“To stand pat” is to resist change. The term comes from the game of poker, in which one “stands pat” if one keeps one’s hand as is, not drawing any extra cards.
58. Canonized ones: Abbr. : STS
The act of creating a saint is known as “canonization”. The term derives from the process of placing someone in the canon (or “calendar”) of saints.
64. Where geese learn the ABCs of Vs? : FORMATION CENTER
A collection of geese is referred to as a “gaggle” when on the ground. When geese are in v-formation in flight, they are referred to collectively as a “skein”.
71. Côtes du __: wine region : RHONE
Côtes du Rhône is a wine region in centered on the Rhône river in France. The name of the region translates as “Slopes (or Hills) of Rhône”. The most prevalent grapes used in Côtes du Rhône wine are Grenache (in reds and rosés) and Grenache blanc (in whites).
72. “Clickbait” was added to it in Sep. 2016 : OED
Oxford English Dictionary (OED)
“Clickbait” is trickery used by website designers to entice a reader to click on a particular link. That link may be a disguised ad, so that the website owner gets some income from the advertiser.
73. Not letting things slide, briefly : TCB
Taking care of business (TCB)
77. Some Jutland natives : DANES
Jutland is a peninsula in Northern Europe comprising the mainland of Denmark and part of northern Germany. Jutland is named for the Jutes, a powerful Germanic people that inhabited the peninsula in the Nordic Iron Age.
84. ’70s-’80s Pakistani president : ZIA
Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq was the President of Pakistan from 1978 until he died in 1988. Zia died in a plane crash along with US Ambassador to Pakistan Arnold Lewis Raphel and several other VIPs. The official Pakistani investigation into the cause of the crash concluded that the plane was likely brought down by sabotage. The official US investigation concluded that the crash was an accident.
85. NFL’s Oilers, since 1999 : TITANS
The Houston Oilers were an AFL charter team, founded in 1960. The team moved to Tennessee in 1997, and became the Tennessee Titans in 1999.
92. Emmy-winning scientist : NYE
That would be “Bill Nye the Science Guy”. Bill’s show ran on PBS for four years from 1993-97.
103. Canberra school : UNI
In Australia (Down Under) and in the British Isles the term “Uni” is routinely used for “university”.
Canberra is the capital city of Australia. The city is located in what’s called the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) an area independent of any of the other Australian territories. In this sense, there is a similarity between Canberra in the ACT and Washington in the District of Columbia. Canberra was chosen as the nation’s capital in 1908, a choice that was a compromise in deference to the two largest cities, Sydney and Melbourne.
104. Classic Cadillac : ELDORADO
The Cadillac Eldorado is a two-door luxury car that was produced by GM from 1953 to 2002.
108. Mini successors : NANOS
The iPod Nano is the successor to the iPod Mini and was introduced to the market at the end of 2005. There have been seven versions of the Nano to date and the current Nano as well as playing tunes is an FM player, records voice memos, has a pedometer and can connect with external devices (like a heart monitor, maybe) using Bluetooth technology.
115. Sweet-talked : WHEEDLED
“To wheedle” is to influence by flattery for one’s gain. Such a lovely verb, I think …
116. Like the pre-Easter season : LENTEN
In Latin, the Christian season that is now called Lent was termed “quadragesima” (meaning “fortieth”), a reference to the forty days that Jesus spent in the desert before beginning his public ministry. When the church began its move in the Middle Ages towards using the vernacular, the term “Lent” was introduced. “Lent” comes from “lenz”, the German word for “spring”.
118. Canon offering, briefly : SLR
SLR stands for “single lens reflex”. Usually cameras with changeable lenses are the SLR type. The main feature of an SLR is that a mirror reflects the image seen through the lens out through the viewfinder, so that the photographer sees exactly what the lens sees. The mirror moves out of the way as the picture is taken, and the image that comes through the lens falls onto unexposed film, or nowadays onto a digital sensor.
2. Utah ski resort : ALTA
Alta ski resort actually lies within the Salt Lake City Metropolitan Area. The first ski lift in the resort was opened way back in 1939. Today, Alta is one of only three ski resorts in the country that prohibits snowboarding (along with Deer Valley, Utah and Mad River Glen, Vermont. The ski resort of Snowbird located next to Alta has been in operation since 1971.
4. Game that sells consoles, say : KILLER APP
In the world of technology marketing, a “killer app” is one that is such a big hit that users are willing to purchase other items, such as a particular piece of hardware, just gain access to the app. One example is Lotus 1-2-3, one of the first spreadsheets to hit the market. I remember a company that I was working bought a lot of IBM computers, largely because access to a spreadsheet was viewed as being so advantageous.
7. __ 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, with “Utne” being the family name of the couple that started the publication.
9. Cinque e uno : SEI
In Italian, “cinque e uno” (five and one) adds up to “sei” (six).
12. “__ bleu!” : SACRE
French speakers don’t really use the profanity “sacrebleu”, at least not anymore, but we see it a lot in English literature featuring native French speakers. Most famously it is uttered by Agatha Christie’s delightful Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot. There is some dispute about the origins of “sacrebleu” (sacred blue), but French dictionaries explain that it is a “softening” of the alternative “Sacré Dieu” (Holy God).
14. Bush and Gore: Abbr. : VPS
President George H. W. Bush served in the US Navy during WWII. Future President Bush postponed his entry into college after the attack on Pearl Harbor and enlisted in the navy instead. When he earned his wings, he was the youngest aviator in the US Navy at that time.
Al Gore was born in Washington DC, the son of Al Gore, Sr., then a US Representative for the state of Tennessee. After deferring his military service in order to attend Harvard, the younger Gore became eligible for the draft on graduation. Many of his classmates found ways of avoiding the draft, but Gore decided to serve and even took the “tougher” option of joining the army as an enlisted man. Actor Tommy Lee Jones shared a house with Gore in college and says that his buddy told him that even if he could find a way around the draft, someone with less options than him would have to go in his place and that was just wrong.
15. Architect Saarinen : ELIEL
Eliel Saarinen was a Finnish architect who designed entire city districts in Helsinki. He immigrated to the United States where he became famous for his art nouveau designs. He was the father of Eero Saarinen, who was to become even more renowned in America for his designs, including the Dulles International Airport terminal, and the TWA building at JFK.
17. Dik Browne dog : SNERT
“Hägar the Horrible” is a comic strip that was created by the late Dik Browne and is now drawn by his son, Chris Browne. “Hägar the Terrible” (not “Horrible”) was the nickname given to Dik by his sons. The strip’s title character is a red-bearded Viking living on the Norwegian coast during the Middle Ages. Hägar lives with his overbearing wife Helga, his sensitive son Hamlet, his pretty daughter Honi, and his clever dog Snert.
30. Bedlam : CHAOS
Bethlem Royal Hospital is a facility in London in the UK for treating mental illness. The original facility was a hospital way back in the 1300s, and had the name “Bedlam”. In the 1700s and 1800s the hospital actually made money out of its patients as it charged a penny to members of the public allowing them to visit the hospital and view the unfortunate inmates in their cells. Tens of thousands of such paid visits were made each year. Our word “bedlam”, meaning uproar and confusion, is derived from the hospital’s name, and it reflects the cruel and inhumane treatment endured by the inmates in days gone by.
31. One of the Gilmore girls : RORY
“Gilmore Girls” is a comedy show that originally aired from 2000 to 2007 on the WB. The title characters are mother and daughter Lorelai and Rory Gilmore, played by Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel.
32. St. Louis bridge architect : EADS
James Eads was an American Civil Engineer and inventor. He designed and built the first road and rail bridge to cross the Mississippi River in St. Louis, a bridge which went into service in 1874 and is still used to this day. Aptly enough, it is known as the Eads Bridge.
34. Short-lived Egypt-Syr. alliance : UAR
The United Arab Republic (UAR) was a union between Egypt and Syria made in 1958, and dissolved in 1961 when Syria pulled out of the arrangement.
35. Goya’s “Duchess of __” : ALBA
María Cayetana de Silva was the 13th Duchess of Alba. She was a favorite subject of the Spanish painter Francisco Goya. The duchess is the subject in the famous portraits known as “La maja desnuda” (The Nude Maja) and “La maja vestida” (The Clothed Maja). “Maja” translates from Spanish as “beautiful lady”.
43. Some kind of nerve : OPTIC
The optic nerve enters the eyeball at a location on the retina called the optic disc. Because there are no light-sensitive cells at the optic disc, there is a “hole” in our visual field that is called the blind spot. People with normal vision don’t usually notice this blind spot as the brain “fills in” the blind spot with information from the other eye.
46. Biblical brother : ABEL
The story of Cain and Abel not only appears in the Christian and Hebrew Bibles, it also features in the Qur’an. In the Muslim account the brothers are named Qabil and Habil.
56. Carved poles : TOTEMS
“Totem” is the name given to any entity that watches over a group of people. As such, totems are usually the subjects of worship. Totem poles are really misnamed, as they are not intended to represent figures to be worshiped, but rather are heraldic in nature often celebrating the legends or notable events in the history of a tribe.
60. IMDb.com entries : BIOS
The website called the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) was launched in 1990, and is now owned by Amazon.com. It’s a great site for answering question one has about movies and actors.
61. Director Howard : RON
Ron Howard sure has come a long way since playing Opie Taylor on “The Andy Griffith Show”. He has directed some fabulous movies including favorites of mine like “Apollo 13”, “A Beautiful Mind” and “The Da Vinci Code”.
63. Shameful fictional symbol : RED A
The main character in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel “The Scarlet Letter” is Hester Prynne. When Prynne is convicted by her puritanical neighbors of the crime of adultery, she is forced to wear a scarlet “A” (for “adultery”) on her clothing for the rest of her life, hence the novel’s title “The Scarlet Letter”.
64. __ acid : FOLIC
Folic acid is also known as vitamin B9. Folic acid occurs as folate in the human body, a substance essential in the synthesis and repair of DNA.
65. Golf great, to his “army” : ARNIE
Arnold Palmer was one of the greats of the world of golf. He was very popular with many fans of the game, and his followers were usually referred to as “Arnie’s Army”. Off the course, Palmer was an avid pilot, until his latter years. He resided in Latrobe, Pennsylvania for much of the year and the local airport is named in his honor: Arnold Palmer Regional Airport.
67. Herman’s Hermits frontman Peter : NOONE
Peter Noone is a great personality in the entertainment world, most famous as the “Herman” in the sixties group Herman’s Hermits. Noone was only 15-years-old when he started as lead singer with the band.
68. Hosp. administration : CPR
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) has for decades involved the simultaneous compression of the chest to pump blood using the heart, and artificial respiration by blowing air into the lungs. Nowadays emergency services are placing more emphasis on heart compressions, and less on artificial respiration.
70. Quaint store adjective : OLDE
The word “olde” wasn’t actually used much earlier than the 1920s. “Olde” was introduced to give a quaint antique feel to brand names, shop names etc. as in “Ye Olde Shoppe”.
73. Massenet opera : THAIS
“Thais” is a 3-act opera composed by Jules Massenet. The work is most famous for its “Meditation”, the beguiling entr’acte performed between scenes in Act II.
74. Symphonic strings : CELLI
The word “cello” (plural “celli” or “cellos”) is an abbreviation for “violoncello”, an Italian word for “little violone”, referring to a group of stringed instruments that were popular up to the end of the 17th century. The name violoncello persisted for the instrument that we know today, although the abbreviation ‘cello was often used. Nowadays we just drop the apostrophe.
78. Nahuatl speaker : AZTEC
Nahuatl is a group of languages spoken mainly in Central Mexico. Historically, Nahuatl was known as “Aztec”.
80. Container weight : TARE
“Tare” is the weight of a container that is deducted from the gross weight to determine the net weight, the weight of the container’s contents.
85. Spelling on TV : TORI
Tori Spelling is an American actress who made a name for herself playing Donna Martin on television’s “Beverly Hills, 90210”. Tori is the daughter of film and television producer Aaron Spelling.
89. Finger Lakes locale: Abbr. : NYS
When I first moved to the US I came to Upstate New York and was lucky enough to live near the beautiful Finger Lakes. The largest of the eleven lakes is Seneca Lake, one of the deepest bodies of water in the United States. My wife and I visited the Finger Lakes region in 2010 and stopped at one of the best wineries in the area and frankly were blown away by the quality of the wines available. Coming from California it’s very refreshing to taste great wines that are made without the benefit of artificial irrigation.
99. Oscar-winning actress Mercedes __ : RUEHL
Mercedes Ruehl is an actress from Queens, New York who is noted for her Academy Award-winning performance in the 1992 movie “The Fisher King”, and for her Tony Award-winning performance in the 1991 Neil Simon play “Lost in Yonkers”.
100. Indy 500 family name : UNSER
The Unser family seems to have racing cars in their blood. Al Unser, Sr. won the Indy 500 on four occasions. Al’s brother Jerry was the first of the Unsers to compete at Indianapolis. Al’s other brother Bobby, won the Indy three times. Al’s son, Al Junior, won the Indy twice. Al Junior’s son is also a racing driver who competes at the Indy Speedway.
101. St. with a panhandle : FLA
The Florida Panhandle is in the Central Time Zone, whereas the rest of the state is in the Eastern Time Zone.
104. LAX postings : ETDS
Estimated time of departure (ETD)
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.
105. Piedmont wine region : ASTI
Asti is in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. The region is perhaps most famous for its Asti Spumante sparkling white wine.
106. “Paula’s Home Cooking” host : 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.
107. Normandy department : ORNE
Orne is a department and river in the northwest of France. Perhaps one of the most famous locations in Orne is the village of Camembert, the home of the famous (and delicious!) cheese.
The Normans were the people from the north of France, from the region that bears the name Normandy. The Normans are descended from Viking stock, so the name “Norman” derives from a translation of “North Men”.
109. Abbr. on old Eurasian maps : SSR
The former Soviet Union (USSR) was created in 1922, not long after the Russian Revolution of 1917 that overthrew the Tsar. Geographically, the new Soviet Union was roughly equivalent to the old Russian Empire, and was comprised of fifteen Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs).
110. Bug and Golf : VWS
VW stands for Volkswagen, which translates from German into “people’s car”. The original Volkswagen design was the Beetle and was built under a directive from Adolf Hitler, who wanted a cheap car built that ordinary people could afford to purchase. He awarded the contract to engineer Ferdinand Porsche, whose name (paradoxically) would forever be associated with high performance, expensive cars. The Beetle was the official name of the VW model released in North America, but it was usually referred to as a “Bug” here in the US, and a “Beetle” elsewhere in the world.
111. ER VIPs : MDS
One might find a registered nurse (RN) or a medical doctor (MD) in an emergency room (ER).
112. Yalie : ELI
Elihu Yale was a wealthy merchant born in Boston in 1649. Yale worked for the British East India Company, and for many years served as governor of a settlement at Madras (now Chennai) in India. After India, Yale took over his father’s estate near Wrexham in Wales. It was while resident in Wrexham that Yale responded to a request for financial support for the Collegiate School of Connecticut in 1701. He sent the school a donation, which was used to erect a new building in New Haven that was named “Yale” in his honor. In 1718, the whole school was renamed to “Yale College”. To this day, students of Yale are nicknamed “Elis”, again honoring Elihu.
113. Lincoln’s place: Abbr. : NEB
The city of Lincoln is the second-largest in Nebraska, and is the state capital. In the days of the Nebraska Territory, the capital was the larger city of Omaha. When the territory was being considered for statehood, most of the population (which lived south of the River Platte) was in favor of annexation to Kansas. The pro-statehood legislature voted to move the capital nearer to that population in a move intended to appease those favoring annexation. As this conflict was taking place just after the Civil War, a special interest group in Omaha arranged for the new capital to be named Lincoln, in honor of the recently-assassinated president. The thought was that the populace south of the River Platte had been sympathetic to the Confederate cause and so would not pass the measure to move the capital if the Lincoln name was used. But the measure passed, the capital was moved, and Nebraska became the thirty-seventh State of the Union in 1867.