Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed each end with a type of QUEEN:
- 60A. Australia’s “Sunshine State” … or where you might find the ends of 18-, 20-, 38- and 55-Across? : QUEENSLAND
- 18A. TV’s “The Practice,” e.g. : LEGAL DRAMA (giving “drama queen”)
- 20A. “Bummer!” : WHAT A DRAG! (giving “drag queen”)
- 38A. Door holder’s witticism : AGE BEFORE BEAUTY (giving “beauty queen”)
- 55A. Procter & Gamble laundry detergent : IVORY SNOW (giving “Snow Queen”)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Greek sandwich : GYRO
A gyro is a traditional Greek dish of meat roasted on a tall vertical spit that is sliced from the spit as required. Gyros are usually served inside a lightly grilled piece of pita bread, along with tomato, onion and tzatziki (a yogurt and cucumber sauce).
16. Buckeye State : OHIO
Ohio is sometimes referred to as the Buckeye State, taking the name from the state tree. In turn, the buckeye tree gets its name from the appearance of its fruit, a dark nut with a light patch, thought to resemble a “buck’s eye”.
18. TV’s “The Practice,” e.g. : LEGAL DRAMA (giving “drama queen”)
“The Practice” is a legal drama set in a Boston law firm. “The Practice” ran for seven seasons, after which many of the main cast were fired as ABC would only renew the show if its budget was drastically reduced. Regardless of the cuts, “The Practice” only survived one more season, although it did spawn a successful spinoff “Boston Legal”.
20. “Bummer!” : WHAT A DRAG! (giving “drag queen”)
The etymology of the term “drag”, as used in the transvestite world, seems to be unclear. It perhaps relates to the tendency of a transvestite’s skirts to drag along the ground in days of old (although why they just didn’t hitch up their skirts is beyond me!).
22. Ford fiasco : EDSEL
The Edsel brand of automobile was named for Edsel, son of Henry Ford. Sadly, the name “Edsel” has become synonymous with “failure”, which was no fault of Edsel himself who had died several years before the Edsel line was introduced. When the Ford Motor Company introduced the Edsel on 4 September 1957, Ford proclaimed the day to be “E Day”.
27. Genius Bar pro : TECH
The technical support desk found in Apple Retail Stores is rather inventively called the Genius Bar. The certified support technicians are known as “Geniuses”. The trainees are called GYOs: Grow-Your-Own-Geniuses.
29. JFK’s successor : LBJ
Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) was born in Stonewall, Texas to Samuel Ealy Johnson, Jr. and Rebekah Baines.
32. High-card-wins game : WAR
War is a card game, mainly played by young children.
41. Part of Congress : SENATE
The six-year terms enjoyed by US senators are staggered, so that every two years about one third of the 100 US Senate seats come up for reelection.
42. Somali-born supermodel : IMAN
Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid is a supermodel from Somalia who goes simply by the name “Iman” these days. “Iman” is an Arabic word for “faith”. Iman is smart cookie. Imam has a degree in Political Science and is fluent in five languages: Somali, Arabic, Italian, French and English. Iman was married to English rock star David Bowie from 1992 until his death in 2016.
44. Frat. counterpart : SOR
A sorority (sor.) is a female counterpart to a fraternity (frat.).
49. Deborah of “The King and I” : KERR
The lovely Deborah Kerr was a Scottish actress who made a real name for herself on the American stage and in Hollywood movies. Despite all her success, and six nominations for a Best Actress Oscar, Kerr never actually won an Academy Award. In 1967 she appeared in the James Bond film “Casino Royale” at the age of 46, making her oldest Bond Girl of all time.
“Anna and the King of Siam” is a semi-biographical novel written by Margaret Landon and first published in 1944. The book tells the largely true story of Anna Leonowens who spent five years in Siam teaching English to the children and wives of King Mongkut. The novel was adapted as a 1946 movie of the same name starring Irene Dunne and Rex Harrison. Then followed a 1951 stage musical titled “The King and I”. The musical was written as a vehicle for Gertrude Lawrence, who played Anna. Rex Harrison was asked to play the King, but he turned it down and Yul Brynner was cast instead. A movie version of the stage musical was released in 1956, famously starring Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr.
51. Fictional Hawaiian police nickname : DANO
The cop show “Hawaii Five-O” originally ran from 1968 until 1980, with Jack Lord and James MacArthur playing detectives Steve McGarrett and “Danno” Williams. The famous theme music was composed by Morton Stevens. The show was rebooted as “Hawaii Five-0”, premiering in 2010, with Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan playing Steve McGarrett and “Danno” Williams. Notice the important difference in the titles of the two versions of the show: the former using a capital letter O, and the latter the numeral zero.
55. Procter & Gamble laundry detergent : IVORY SNOW (giving “Snow Queen”)
“The Snow Queen” is a fairy tale penned by Hans Christian Andersen that was first published in 1945. It is believed that Andersen was in love with famed Swedish opera singer Jenny Lind, who treated him as a friend but did not consider him romantically. The story is that Andersen was inspired to write about the icy-hearted Snow Queen after Lind rejected his advances.
60. Australia’s “Sunshine State” … or where you might find the ends of 18-, 20-, 38- and 55-Across? : QUEENSLAND
Queensland is a large state located on the northeast of Australia. The state capital of Brisbane is the third largest city in the country, after Sydney and Melbourne. Queensland was originally part of the state of New South Wales, but was separated in 1859, with the new name chosen in honor of Queen Victoria.
63. Sch. near the U.S.-Mexico border : UTEP
The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) was founded in 1914, originally as the Texas State School of Mines and Metallurgy. To this day there is a mine shaft on the campus, and the mascot of the school’s sports teams is Paydirt Pete, a prospector from the mining industry. The teams are also known as the UTEP Miners and Lady Miners.
67. Outlaw chasers : POSSE
Our word “posse” comes from an Anglo-Latin term from the early 15th century “posse comitatus” meaning “the force of the county”.
68. Hours next to flight nos. : ETDS
Estimated time of departure (ETD)
3. Second actress to win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony : RITA MORENO
There are relatively few individuals who have won the “Showbiz Award Grand Slam”, i.e., an Oscar, Tony, Grammy and Emmy. The first five to do so were:
- Richard Rodgers in 1962
- Helen Hayes in 1977
- Rita Moreno in 1977
- John Gielgud in 1991
- Audrey Hepburn in 1994 (posthumously)
The Puerto Rican singer, dancer and actress Rita Moreno is one of the few performers to have won an Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and Tony. Moreno got her big break, and won her Oscar, for playing Anita in the 1961 screen adaption of “West Side Story”.
4. GM system with an AtYourService app : ONSTAR
The OnStar system was developed as a joint venture between GM, EDS and Hughes. The product itself was launched in 1996. Today, OnStar is only available on GM cars, although it used to be offered on other makes of car through a licensing agreement. OnStar is a subscription service that packages vehicle security, telephone, satellite navigation and remote diagnostics.
6. Happily __ after : EVER
The stock phrase “Once upon a time” has been used in various forms as the start of a narrative at least since 1380. The stock phrase at the end of stories such as folktales is often “and they all lived happily ever after”. The earlier version of this ending was “happily until their deaths”.
7. Maker of the Genesis game system : SEGA
Sega is a Japanese videogame company headquartered in Tokyo. Sega actually started out 1940 in the US as Standard Games and was located in Honolulu, Hawaii. The owners moved the operation to Tokyo in 1951 and renamed the company to Service Games. The name “Sega” is a combination of the first two letters of the words “Se-rvice” and “Ga-mes”.
9. MLB Cardinal’s cap letters : STL
The St. Louis Cardinals were originally called the “Brown Stockings”, changing their name to the “Perfectos” in 1899. That obviously didn’t go down well with the locals, as the owners changed it one year later to the Cardinals.
10. Lear’s youngest daughter : CORDELIA
“King Lear” is one of William Shakespeare’s tragedies. Lear’s three daughters figure prominently in the story line. The three are, in order of age:
12. Green citrus fruit : LIME
“Limey” is a slang nickname for someone from Britain, and is a term used in particular by people from North America and Australia. “Limey” is thought to be short for “lime-juicer”, an insulting phrase used to describe Royal Navy sailors who were given lime juice while at sea to help stave off scurvy.
13. Baby horse : FOAL
There are lots of terms to describe horses of different ages and sexes, it seems:
- Foal: horse of either sex that is less that one year old
- Yearling: horse of either sex that is one to two years old
- Filly: female horse under the age of four
- Colt: male horse under the age of four
- Gelding: castrated male horse of any age
- Stallion: non-castrated male horse four years or older
- Mare: female horse four years or older
21. Sock that covers the joint it’s named for : ANKLET
The ankle joint proper is the hinge joint connecting the ends of the tibia and fibula in the leg with the top of the talus in the foot.
25. Biblical queendom : SHEBA
Sheba is referenced in the Bible several times. The “Queen of Sheba” is mentioned as someone who traveled to Jerusalem to behold the fame of King Solomon. No one knows for sure where the kingdom of Sheba was located, although there is evidence that it was actually the ancient Semitic civilization of Saba. The Sabeans lived in what today is Yemen, on the Arabian Peninsula.
27. Ref’s ring decision : TKO
In boxing, a knockout (KO) is when one of the fighters can’t get up from the canvas within a specified time, usually 10 seconds. This can be due to fatigue, injury, or the participant may be truly “knocked out”. A referee, fighter or doctor may also decide to stop a fight without a physical knockout, especially if there is concern about a fighter’s safety. In this case the bout is said to end with a technical knockout (TKO).
30. Margarine that shares its name with Texas’ state flower : BLUE BONNET
The Blue Bonnet brand of margarine uses the slogan “Everything’s better with Blue Bonnet on it”. The slogan inspired the familiar phrase “I’m on it like Blue Bonnet” that can be used in general speech, indicating that the speaker is in control of a situation.
31. Ballet leaps : JETES
A “jeté” is a leap in ballet, coming from the French word “jeter” meaning “to throw”. A “jeté en avant” is a “leap to the front”, towards the audience. A “grand jeté” is a long horizontal jump, a split in the air, leaping from one foot to the other.
36. Red Sox ballpark : FENWAY
The Boston Red Sox is one of the most successful Major League Baseball teams and so commands a large attendance, but only when on the road. The relatively small capacity of Boston’s Fenway Park, the team’s home since 1912, has dictated that every game the Red Sox has played there has been a sell out since May of 2003.
39. Cocktail makers : BARKEEPS
Our word “cocktail” first appeared in the early 1800s. The exact origin of the term is not clear, but it is thought to be a corruption of the French word “coquetier” meaning “egg cup”, a container that was used at that time for serving mixed drinks.
40. Ambulance fig. : EMT
Emergency medical technician (EMT)
46. S.O.S shelfmate : BRILLO
Brillo Pad is a soapy, steel wool pad, patented in 1913. The company claims that the name “Brillo” is derived from the Latin word for “bright”.
S.O.S is a brand name of scouring pads made from steel wool impregnated with soap. The product was invented as a giveaway by an aluminum pot salesman in San Francisco called Ed Cox. His wife gave it the name “S.O.S” as an acronym for “Save Our Saucepans”. Note the punctuation! There is no period after the last S, and that is deliberate. When Cox went to register the trademark, he found that “S.O.S.” could not be a trademark because it was used as an international distress signal. So he dropped the period after the last S, and I hope made a lot of money for himself and his wife.
50. Fish-eating eagle : ERN
The ern (sometimes “erne”) is also called the white-tailed eagle, or the sea-eagle.
51. Rapper with a title : DR DRE
Dr. Dre is the stage name of rapper Andre Romelle Young. Dr. Dre is known for his own singing career as well as for producing records and starting the careers of others such Snoop Dogg, Eminem and 50 Cent.
53. Pecans and cashews : NUTS
Our everyday usage of “nut” is often at odds with the botanical definition of the term. Examples of “true nuts” are acorns, chestnuts and hazelnuts. On the other hand, even though we usually refer to almonds, pecans and walnuts as “nuts”, botanically they are classified as “drupes”. Both drupes and true nuts are fruits, the vehicles that flowering plants use to disseminate seeds. True nuts are examples of a “dry fruit”, a fruit that has no fleshy outer layer. Drupes are examples of a “fleshy fruit”, a fruit with a fleshy outer layer that often makes it desirable for an animal to eat. Familiar examples of drupes are cherries, peaches and plums. We eat the fleshy part of these drupes, and discard the pit inside that contains the seed. Other examples of drupes are walnuts, almonds and pecans. The relatively inedible flashy part of these drupes is usually removed for us before they hit our grocery stores shelves. We crack open the pit inside and eat the seed of these drupes. No wonder we use the term “nuts” to mean “crazy”!
54. Nerdy type : GEEK
The original “geek” was a sideshow performer, perhaps at a circus. We use the term today for someone regarded as foolish or clumsy, but also for someone who is technically driven and expert, but socially inept.
58. Binged (on), as snacks : ODED
59. Pans for potstickers : WOKS
“Wok” is a Cantonese word, the name for the frying pan now used in many Asian cuisines.
61. Maple extract : SAP
The sugar maple is the state tree of New York, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin. It is also the primary source of maple syrup.