Edited by: Rich Norris
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Each of today’s themed answers starts with a color, one that isn’t RED. However, each answer ends with a shade of red.
- 33D. Angrily ignoring the first half of the answers to starred clues? : SEEING RED
- 20A. *Fictional road material : YELLOW BRICK
- 57A. *Cola flavor : BLACK CHERRY
- 10D. *One with noble lineage : BLUE BLOOD
- 26D. *Chard, by another name : SILVER BEET
(giving “brick red”)
(giving “cherry red”)
(giving “blood red”)
(giving “beet red”)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Spot for an AirPod : EAR
AirPods are Apple’s line of bluetooth earpods. When AirPods were introduced in 2016, the market reacted with some skepticism. The left and right AirPods are not connected by any wire, so there was concern that individual earbuds could fall out of the ear, and possibly get lost. Another concern is Apple’s stated intent to abandon the wired headphone socket on new iPhone models.
4. Chowder morsel : CLAM
The type of soup known as “chowder” may be named for the pot in which it used to be cooked called a “chaudière”, a French term.
8. Moscow currency : RUBLE
The ruble (also “rouble”) is the unit of currency in Russia, as well as several other countries of the former Soviet Union. One ruble is divided into one hundred kopecks (also “kopeks”).
15. Color in a Spanish rainbow : ROJO
“Rojo” is Spanish for “red”.
16. Religion of Basra : ISLAM
Basra is a Iraq’s main port, and is located in the south of the country, 34 miles from the Persian Gulf. Access to the gulf ii via the Shatt al-Arab waterway, a river that discharges into the gulf in the port city of Umm Qasr.
17. Corn Belt tower : SILO
“Silo” is a Spanish word that we absorbed into English, originally coming from the Greek word “siros” that described a pit in which one kept corn.
The Corn Belt (sometimes “Grain Belt”) is a region in the Midwest where, since the mid-1800s, corn has been the major crop. Geographically, the Corn Belt covers Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and parts of Michigan, Ohio, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota and Missouri. About 40% of the world’s corn production comes from the region, and most of that production is used for the feeding of livestock.
18. Latin I verb : AMAT
Amo, amas, amat” … I love, you love, he/she/it loves”, in Latin.
19. Riyadh resident : SAUDI
Riyadh is the capital of Saudi Arabia, and is located near the center of the country. The name “Riyadh” translates from Arabic as ‘the gardens”.
20. *Fictional road material : YELLOW BRICK
According to L. Frank Baum’s series of “Oz” novels, there are two Yellow Brick Roads that lead to the Emerald City from Munchkin Country, and it turns out that Dorothy chose the harder of the two. There is also a Red Brick Road, which leads from Munchkin County to the Country of the Quadlings.
24. Of a battery terminal : ANODAL
A battery is a device that converts chemical energy into electric energy. A simple battery is made up of three parts: a cathode, an anode and a liquid electrolyte. Ions from the electrolyte react chemically with the material in the anode producing a compound and releasing electrons. At the same time, the electrolyte reacts with the material in the cathode, absorbing electrons and producing a different chemical compound. In this way, there is a buildup of electrons at the anode and a deficit of electrons at the cathode. When a connection (wire, say) is made between the cathode and anode, electrons flow through the resulting circuit from the anode to cathode in an attempt to rectify the electron imbalance.
25. Necessity for a game of Ultimate : FRISBEE
Ultimate is a team sport, similar to football or rugby in that the goal is to get a flying disc into an endzone or goal area. The sport used to be called “Ultimate Frisbee”, but the “Frisbee” was dropped as it is a registered trademark.
34. Slangy pounds : QUID
“Quid” is a slang term for a pound sterling (i.e. a UK pound). It’s not certain where the term comes from, but it is possibly derived somehow from the Latin phrase “quid pro quo” meaning “this for that”.
40. Tomato product : PUREE
A “purée” is a food that has been made smooth by straining or blending. “Purée” is a French term, which I believe is now used to mean “pea soup” (more completely written as “purée de pois”). The French verb “purer” means “to strain, clean”, from the Latin “purare” meaning “to purify, clean”.
42. Religious prefix : THEO-
The prefix “theo-” means “god”, coming from the Greek word “theos” that has the same meaning.
43. Grub : EATS
The larvae of stag beetles are commonly known as grubs, and the pupa known as the chrysalis. “Grub” is also slang for food. The word “grub” has been used in this sense since way back in the 1600s, possible derived from birds eating grubs.
45. Tenerife, por ejemplo : ISLA
In Spanish, Tenerife “por ejemplo” (for example), is an “isla” (island).
Tenerife is the largest of the seven Canary Islands located off the coast of Morocco in North Africa. Part of Spain, Tenerife is the nation’s most populous island, home to almost 900,000 people. It also receives about five million visitors annually, making it one of the most important tourist destinations in the world.
52. Clogs from France : SABOTS
There is a story that disgruntled textile workers would kick their wooden shoes, called sabots, into the looms in order to disable them so that they didn’t have to work. This act of vandalism was named for the shoe, an act of … sabotage.
56. Neurologist’s order, briefly : EEG
An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a record of electrical activity caused by the firing of neurons within the brain. The EEG might be used to diagnose epilepsy, or perhaps to determine if a patient is “brain dead”.
60. Pop-up foul-up : ERROR
That would be baseball.
63. Pulitzer-winning novelist Jennifer : EGAN
Jennifer Egan is an author who grew up in San Francisco. Egan’s 2010 work “A Visit from the Goon Squad” won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Usually termed a novel, “A Visit from the Goon Squad” is structured in such a way that it is sometimes described as a collection of linked short stories.
64. Renaissance painter __ della Francesca : PIERO
Piero della Francesca was an Early Renaissance painter and mathematician from modern-day Tuscany in Italy.
67. Family car : 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.
68. __-Coburg: former Bavarian duchy : SAXE
Saxony was the name given at different times in history to states along the Elbe river in central Europe. As the various states broke up, they spawned many duchies that retained the name “Saxe”. The most famous of these duchies was probably Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, two united duchies in Germany that ceased to exist after WWII. A notable branch of the Saxe-Coburg and Gotha House is the British Royal Family, as Queen Victoria was married to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. King George V of the United Kingdom changed the name of the family to the House of Windsor in a politically sensible move during WWI.
69. Homer’s neighbor : NED
Ned Flanders lives next door to Homer on TV’s “The Simpsons”. Ned is voiced by actor Harry Shearer and has been around since the very first episode aired in 1989.
3. Pal of Nancy, in comics : ROLLO
“Nancy” is a comic strip that was originally called “Fritzi Ritz” when it first appeared in 1938. Nancy Ritz is a mischievous young girl, and Rollo is a friendly rich kid.
5. Big name in vision care : LOMB
Bausch & Lomb is an American company headquartered in Rochester, New York. It is a major supplier of contact lenses and associated eye-care products. As one might guess, the company was founded (in 1853) by two German immigrants, John Jacob Bausch and Henry Lomb. Bausch was an optician, and Lomb was the “money man”. The company was originally set up to manufacture monocles.
6. Slightly open : AJAR
Our word “ajar” is thought to come from Scottish dialect, in which “a char” means “slightly open”.
7. Recurring theme : MOTIF
A motif is a recurring element in an artistic work or design.
9. Stars and Stripes land: Abbr. : USA
Legend has it that Betsy Ross made the first American flag for General George Washington. However, this story only surfaced during the centennial celebrations of 1876, and although Betsy Ross was indeed one of several flag makers in Philadelphia in the days of George Washington, sadly there’s no definitive evidence that Ross provided that first stars and stripes.
10. *One with noble lineage : BLUE BLOOD
The idiomatic phrase “blue blood” applies to someone of noble descent. The phrase is a translation from the Spanish “sangre azul”, which was applied to the royal family in Spain. The notion is that someone of noble birth does not have to work outdoors in the fields, and so has untanned skin. The veins showing in the skin had “blue blood”, whereas those veins were masked by the darker skin of the peasant classes.
11. Crock-Pot server : LADLE
We often use the term “crockpot” as an alternative for “slow cooker”. The generic term comes from the trademark “Crock-Pot”, now owned by Sunbeam products.
12. French novelist Zola : EMILE
The most famous work of French writer Émile Zola is his 1898 open letter “J’Accuse!” written to then French president Félix Faure. The letter was published on the front page of a leading Paris newspaper, and accused the government of anti-Semitism in its handling of the trial of Captain Alfred Dreyfus. Dreyfus was a Jewish military officer in the French army, falsely accused and convicted of spying for Germany. Even after the error was discovered, the government refused to back down and let Dreyfus rot away on Devil’s Island rather than admit to the mistake. It wasn’t until 1906, 12 years after the wrongful conviction, that Dreyfus was freed and reinstated, largely due to the advocacy of Emile Zola.
14. *Floral papal ornament : GOLDEN ROSE
In the Roman Catholic tradition, the fourth Sunday in Lent is sometimes called Rose Sunday. Vestments worn during services are rose colored, and in Rome, the Pope blesses a gold ornament known as the Golden Rose, which is then conferred to a person or group as an honor or token of reverence. In centuries past, Golden Roses were usually awarded to male sovereigns, but more recently the practise has been to give the ornament to a church or shrine.
21. Brewery kiln : OAST
An oast is a kiln used for drying hops as part of the brewing process. Such a structure might also be called an “oast house”. The term can also apply to a kiln used to dry tobacco.
22. Input for a refinery : CRUDE
26. *Chard, by another name : SILVERBEET
Chard is a lovely leafy vegetable, in my humble opinion. Chard is the same species as the garden beet, but chard is grown for the leaves, and beet is grown for the roots. Chard also goes by the names, Swiss chard, silverbeet, mangold. In some parts of Australia it’s even known as spinach.
29. Portable Mongolian dwellings : YURTS
A “yurt” is a wood-framed dwelling that is used by nomads in the steppes of Central Asia. Although a yurt is a substantial structure, it is also extremely portable.
37. Part of D.A.: Abbr. : ATT
District Attorney (DA)
38. Prefix with con : NEO-
By definition, a neoconservative (neocon) is a former left-aligned politician who has moved to the right and supports the use of American power and military to bring democracy, liberty, equality and human rights to other countries.
44. Jacob’s wife before Rachel : LEAH
According to the Bible, Leah was one of the two wives of Jacob, the other being Leah’s sister Rachel. Jacob’s intention had been to marry Rachel, but the Leah and Rachel’s father “switched” his daughters and provided Leah as the veiled bride. Jacob married Rachel a week later, and lived with the two wives concurrently.
46. James with three NBA titles : LEBRON
Basketball player LeBron James (nicknamed “King James”) seems to be in demand for the covers of magazines. James became the first African American man to adorn the front cover of “Vogue” in March 2008. That made him only the third male to make the “Vogue” cover, following Richard Gere and George Clooney.
50. Like “Stranger Things,” e.g. : EERIE
“Stranger Things” is a sci-fi horror TV show made for Netflix that aired its first season in 2016. I don’t do horror so haven’t seen it …
55. Ecclesiastical council : SYNOD
The word synod comes from the Greek word for assembly, or meeting. A synod is a church council, usually in the Christian faith.
58. Word of amore : CARA
In Italian, “cara” (dear) is a word spoken “con affetto” (with affection).
59. Fort with billions in bullion : KNOX
Fort Knox is actually a US Army base, but it lends its name to the adjacent facility that is more correctly called the United States Bullion Depository. Most of the US gold reserves are in “Fort Knox”, although it isn’t the biggest gold repository in the US. That honor goes to the vault under the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in Manhattan. Most of the gold stored in the New York vault belongs to foreign nations and banks.