Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed clues are titles of Shakespearean plays, but each is interpreted literally:
- 18A. “As You Like It”? : ACCORDING TO TASTE
- 28A. “Hamlet”? : SMALL VILLAGE
- 47A. “Twelfth Night”? : JANUARY FIFTH
- 60A. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”? : AIR-COOLING SYSTEM
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
11. Great white cousin : MAKO
The shortfin mako shark can appear on restaurant menus, and as a result the species is dying out in some parts of the world. The mako gets its own back sometimes though, and attacks on humans are not unknown. And the shark in Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea”, that’s a mako. “Mako” is the Maori word for “shark” or “shark tooth”.
16. In perfect order : NEAT AS A PIN
Apparently the idiom “neat as a pin” arose in the early 1800s, with the advent of mass production. Up until that time, pins were handmade and so were irregular and relatively flawed. Mass-produced pins were uniform and of consistent quality. So, something that was uniform and of consistent quality came to be described as “neat as a pin”.
18. “As You Like It”? : ACCORDING TO TASTE
“As You Like It” is one of Shakespeare’s comedies, the tale of Rosalind fleeing from her Uncle’s court along with her cousin Celia and the court jester Touchstone. Rosalind lives in exile in the Forest of Arden, disguised as a male shepherd called Ganymede. The play is perhaps most memorable for an oft-quoted monologue that starts with:
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players …
20. Thai currency : BAHT
The baht is the currency of Thailand, and is subdivided into 100 satang.
21. “Night” author Wiesel : ELIE
Elie Wiesel was a holocaust survivor, best known for his book “Night” that tells of his experiences in Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986.
22. Summertime treats : ICEES
Slush Puppie and ICEE are brands of frozen, slushy drinks. Ostensibly competing brands, ICEE company now owns the Slush Puppie brand.
23. Berkeley sch. : CAL
The University of California, Berkeley (Cal) is the most difficult public university to get into in the world. It opened in 1869 and is named for Anglo-Irish philosopher George Berkeley.
25. Moby-Dick, e.g. : ALBINO
In Herman Melville’s 1851 novel “Moby-Dick”, the animal named in the title is an albino sperm whale.
28. “Hamlet”? : SMALL VILLAGE
The full title of William Shakespeare’s play that we tend to call “Hamlet” is “The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark”. It is the most performed of all Shakespeare’s plays and it is also his longest, the only one of his works comprising over 4,000 lines. That’s about a 4-hour sitting in a theater …
A hamlet is a small village, especially one without a church apparently.
32. Bing provider : MSN
Bing is the search engine from Microsoft. Bing is the latest name for an engine that Microsoft used to call Live Search, Windows Live Search and MSN Search.
The Microsoft Network (MSN) used to be an Internet service provider (ISP). These days, MSN is mainly a web portal.
35. Fluorine or chlorine : HALOGEN
The halogens are a group of elements in the periodic table consisting of fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine and astatine. The term “halogen” was the name that was originally proposed for chlorine when it was first discovered.
36. Santa __ : ANA
Santa Ana is the county seat of Orange County, California and takes its name from the Santa Ana River that runs through the city.
37. State tie of New Mexico : BOLO
I’ve never worn a bolo tie, and was surprised to discover that it is a relatively recent invention. The first bolo tie was apparently produced in Wickenburg, Arizona in the late 1940s by a silversmith. The bolo takes its name from the boleadora, an Argentine lariat.
38. Name on the cover of “Fear of Flying” : ERICA
The author Erica Jong’s most famous work is her first: “Fear of Flying”, a novel published in 1973. Over twenty years later, Jong wrote “Fear of Fifty: a midlife memoir”, published in 1994.
39. __ shui : FENG
Feng shui is the ancient Chinese tradition of arranging objects, buildings and other structures in a manner that is said to improve the lives of the individuals living in or using the space. “Feng shui” translates as “wind-water”, a reference to the belief that positive and negative life forces ride the wind and scatter, but are retained when they encounter water.
41. Fix, as a road : RETAR
The terms “Tarmac” and “macadam” are short for “tarmacadam”. In the 1800s, Scotsman John Loudon McAdam developed a style of road known as “macadam”. Macadam had a top-layer of crushed stone and gravel laid over larger stones. The macadam also had a convex cross-section so that water tended to drain to the sides. In 1901, a significant improvement was made by English engineer Edgar Purnell Hooley who introduced tar into the macadam, improving the resistance to water damage and practically eliminating dust. The “tar-penetration macadam” is the basis of what we now call Tarmac.
43. Web help source : FAQ
Most websites have a page listing answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Even this blog has one!
44. Simple wind : OCARINA
An ocarina is an ancient wind-instrument that sounds like and is played like a flute. Usually an ocarina has an egg-shaped body with a number of finger holes cut into the material making up the instrument (usually ceramic). There is a tube protruding from the body through which one blows to make sounds. The air vibrates within the body of the instrument, and the pitch of the vibrations is changed by covering and uncovering the finger-holes. Ocarinas date back as far as 12,000 years ago when they were used both in China and Central America. The ocarina was brought to Italy in the 1800s where it became popular as a child’s toy, but also as a serious instrument. It was given the name “ocarina” as its shape resembles that of a goose, and “ocarina”is a diminutive word stemming from “oca”, the Italian word for “goose”.
46. Animal in some fables : ASS
Aesop used the ass in at least four of his fables:
- The Ass and his Masters
- The Ass and the Pig
- The Ass Carrying an Image
- The Ass in the Lion’s Skin
47. “Twelfth Night”? : JANUARY FIFTH
Including Christmas night (on December 25th), the “twelfth night” is January 5th.
William Shakespeare wrote his comedy “Twelfth Night” as a Christmas entertainment (Twelfth Night being the end of the Christmas season). The play’s protagonist is a young woman named Viola. The plot calls for Viola to dress as eunuch named Cesario who goes into the service of Duke Orsino. Orsino has Cesario go to Duchess Olivia to express his love for her. But Olivia falls for Cesario, Cesario (Viola) falls for Orsino, and hilarity ensues …
49. What a round increases : BAR TAB
When we “run a tab” at a bar say, we are “running a tabulation”, a listing of what we owe. Such a use of “tab” is American slang that originated in the 1880s.
51. Diarist Nin : ANAIS
Anaïs Nin was a French author, famous for her journals that she wrote for over sixty years from the age of 11 right up to her death. Nin also wrote highly regarded erotica and cited D. H. Lawrence as someone from whom she drew inspiration. Nin was married to banker and artist Hugh Parker Guiler in 1923. Decades later in 1955, Nin married former actor Rupert Pole, even though she was still married to Guiler. Nin and Pole had their marriage annulled in 1966, but just for legal reasons, and they continued to live together as husband and wife until Nin passed away in 1977.
54. Island festivity : LUAU
Nowadays the word “luau” denotes almost any kind of party on the Hawaiian Islands, but to the purist a luau is a feast that always includes a serving of “poi”, the bulbous underground stems of taro baked with coconut milk.
56. Great Sphinx site : GIZA
Giza is located on the west bank of the Nile, about 20 km southwest of Cairo. The nearby Giza Plateau is home to some of the most amazing ancient monuments on the planet, including the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Great Sphinx.
In Greek mythology, the creature known as the Sphinx has the body of a lion, the wings of a bird and the face of a woman. The Sphinx threatened to strangle and devour any person who could not answer a famous riddle: “Which creature walks on four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon, and three legs in the evening?” Oedipus was able to save himself by answering correctly “Man”. The idea is that a man crawls on all fours as a baby, and then walks on two feet as an adult, and walks with a cane in old age. “Sphinx” is actually a Greek word, meaning “the strangler” …
60. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”? : AIR-COOLING SYSTEM
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is one of William Shakespeare’s comedies. One of the interesting characteristics of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is that it features a play-within-a-play. The cast of characters includes an troupe of six actors called the Mechanicals who perform a play called “Pyramus and Thisbe”.
68. High priests : LAMAS
“Lama” is a Tibetan word, meaning “chief” or “high priest”.
1. Lipo target : FLAB
Liposuction (lipo) dates back to the 1920s when it was developed by a surgeon in France. However, the procedure quickly lost favor when a French model developed gangrene after surgery. As a result it wasn’t until the mid-seventies that modern liposuction took off, after being popularized by two Italian-American surgeons in Rome.
2. Costa __ : RICA
Costa Rica is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua in the north, and Panama to the South. Costa Rica is remarkable in my opinion, a leader on the world stage in many areas. It has been referred to as the “greenest” country in the world, the “happiest” country in the world, and has a highly educated populace. In 1949, the country unilaterally abolished its own army … permanently!
3. Drawing toy in “Toy Story” : ETCH
Etch A Sketch was introduced in 1960. The toy was developed in France by inventor André Cassagnes.
1995’s “Toy Story” was the world’s first feature-length computer-animated movie. “Toy Story” was also the studio Pixar’s first production. The main roles in the film are Woody and Buzz Lightyear, voiced by Tom Hanks and Tim Allen respectively. Hanks was the first choice to voice Woody, Allen was asked to voice Buzz after Billy Crystal turned down the role.
4. One keeping track of court proceedings? : SHOT CLOCK
That would be basketball.
5. 2013 Spike Jonze movie : HER
2003’s “Her” is a rather unusual film. It stars Joaquin Phoenix as a man who develops a relationship with a computer operating system called “Samantha”, which is voiced by Scarlett Johansson.
Spike Jonze is a movie director whose first feature film was “Being John Malkovich” (1999). Jonze also directed a couple of films for which he wrote the screenplays, namely “Where the Wild things Are” (2009) and “Her” (2013). Jonze also co-created the MTV show “Jackass”. Can’t stand that show, said he grumpily …
6. Deep blue : ANIL
Anil is another name for the indigo plant, as well as the name for the blue indigo dye that is obtained from it. The color of anil is relatively close to navy blue. The main coloring agent in indigo dye is a crystalline powder called indigotin.
7. Stage of grief : DENIAL
Swiss psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross published a book called “On Death and Dying” in 1969. In this book she proposed a five-step model to describe the emotions experienced by patients after they are given a fatal diagnosis. That same model is often extended to describe the series of emotions experienced by survivors after losing a family member or intimate friend. In this context, the series is referred to as “the five stages of grief”.
8. Explorer who named the Pacific Ocean : MAGELLAN
Ferdinand Magellan was a Portuguese explorer who was hired by King Charles I of Spain to find a westward route to the “Spice Islands”, now known as the Maluku Islands of Indonesia. Magellan headed west through the Atlantic starting out in 1519. He passed south of the Americas through was is now called the Strait of Magellan. The body of water he encountered west of the Americas he named the “peaceful sea”, the Pacific Ocean. He and his expedition reached the Spice Islands in 1521, and returned home via the Indian Ocean. This voyage was the first circumnavigation of the globe in history.
9. Tech sch. that filed for bankruptcy in 2016 : ITT
ITT Technical Institute was a private educational establishment with over 130 campuses all over the US. ITT went bankrupt in 2016. Former students of ITT may get any student debt forgiven with an application to the Department of Education. I’m not a fan of IT and the likes, not a fan at all …
10. Eastern way : TAO
The Chinese character “tao” translates as “path”, but the concept of Tao signifies the true nature of the world.
11. Collision repair franchise : MAACO
MAACO Collision Repair & Auto Painting was founded by Anthony A. Martino ten years after he launched AAMCO Transmissions. The names of both companies was derived from the first letters of his name: AAM.
12. Alcove near the chancel : APSE
The apse of a church or cathedral is a semicircular recess in an outer wall, usually with a half-dome as a roof and often where there resides an altar. Originally, apses were used as burial places for the clergy and also for storage of important relics.
The chancel of a Christian church is the space surrounding the altar. The chancel sometimes includes the choir and the pulpit.
13. Tool in a legendary electricity experiment : KITE
Benjamin Franklin may not have discovered electricity, but he did important work that helped us understand the nature of electricity. He is reputed to have flown a kite at the end of wet string during a thunderstorm. At the end of the string was a key, and Franklin noted that sparks jumped from the key to the back of his hand, showing that lightning was an electrical phenomenon.
17. “Goosebumps” series author : STINE
“Goosebumps” is a series of children’s horror novels written by author R. L. Stine. The novels have been adapted into a television series shown on Canadian TV.
24. Simple marine plant : ALGA
Algae are similar to terrestrial plants in that they use photosynthesis to create sugars from light and carbon dioxide, but they differ in that they have simpler anatomies, and for example lack roots.
26. City on the Penobscot River : BANGOR
Bangor is the third-most populous city in the state of Maine (after Portland and Lewiston). The city was given its name in 1791, after the hymn “Antiphonary of Bangor” that was written at Bangor Abbey in Northern Ireland.
27. Food chain letters : IGA
IGA stands for Independent Grocers Alliance, a chain of supermarkets that extends right around the world. IGA’s headquarters is in Chicago. The company uses the slogan “Hometown Proud Supermarkets”.
28. 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.
29. Chincoteague females : MARES
The Chincoteague Pony is a breed living in the wild on Assateague Island off the coast of Maryland and Virginia. Apparently the name “Chincoteague Pony” is mainly used in Virginia, whereas the “Assateague horse” is preferred in Maryland.
30. Jennifer Garner spy series : ALIAS
Jennifer Garner is an actress who garnered (pun!) attention for her recurring role as the lead in the thriller series “Alias” on ABC. Garner is married to fellow actor Ben Affleck.
32. Theme : MOTIF
A motif is a recurring element in an artistic work or design.
34. Singer Jones : NORAH
The beguiling Norah Jones is the daughter of famous sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar, and is one of my favorite singers. If you haven’t heard Jones sing her song “Come Away with Me”, you just haven’t lived …
37. Pribilof Islands locale : BERING SEA
The Bering Sea in the very north of the Pacific Ocean is named for the Danish navigator Vitus Bering who was the first European to systematically explore the area in 1728. Many believe that the first humans arrived in the Americas from Asia when the waters of the Bering Sea were lower during the last ice age, over what is known as the Bering land bridge.
41. Tennis nickname : RAFA
Rafael “Rafa” Nadal is a Spanish tennis player, noted for his expertise on clay courts, earning him the nickname “The King of Clay”.
45. Montana player : CYRUS
Miley Cyrus became famous playing the Disney Channel character “Hannah Montana”. Miley is the daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus. When she was born, Billy Ray and his wife named their daughter “Destiny Hope”, but soon they themselves calling her “Smiley” as she was always smiling as a baby, and this got shortened to Miley over time. Cute …
47. Fleece finder : JASON
The Golden Fleece was the fleece of a winged ram made from pure gold that was held by King Aeëtes in Colchis, a kingdom on the eastern coast of the Black Sea. The fleece is central to the tale of Jason and the Argonauts, who set out on a quest to steal the fleece by order of King Pelias.
49. __ curls : BICEP
The biceps muscle is made up of two bundles of muscle, both of which terminate at the same point near the elbow. The heads of the bundles terminate at different points on the scapula or shoulder blade. “Biceps” is Latin for “two-headed”.
53. Commedia dell’___ : ARTE
“Commedia dell’arte” translates literally from Italian as “comedy of craft”. It is a style of theater that started out in Italy in the mid-1500s. The commedia featured a cast of stock characters such as devious servants and foolish old men, most of whom wore distinctive and recognizable masks. Some of the better known characters are Harlequin (a foolish but acrobatic servant), and Pantalone (a lascivious old merchant).
57. Newsworthy couple : ITEM
An unmarried couple known to be involved with each other might appear in the gossip columns. This appearance as “an item” in the papers, led to the use of “item” to refer to such a couple, but only since the very early seventies.
58. Sixth in a series : ZETA
Zeta is the sixth letter of the Greek alphabet, and is a precursor of our Roman letter Z. The word “zeta” is also the ancestor of the name “zed”, which became “zee”, the pronunciation that we use here in the US.
59. Israeli author Oz : AMOS
Amos Oz is an Israeli writer. Oz has written 18 books in Hebrew and his works have been translated into 30 languages, including Arabic.
61. Takes too much, briefly : ODS
62. “Love Story” composer Francis : LAI
French composer Francis Lai is known for his film scores. His most notable scores to American audiences are probably for 1970’s hit “Love Story”, the less memorable 1978 sequel “Oliver’s Story”.
Erich Segal wrote two hit screenplays, “Yellow Submarine” (the Beatles’ animated movie) and “Love Story” (starring Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw). He wrote the novel “Love Story” after the screenplay. As the novel was published before the film was released, there’s a popular misconception that the movie is based on the book.
63. Fashionable initials : YSL
Yves Saint-Laurent (YSL) was a French fashion designer, actually born in Algeria. Saint-Laurent started off working as an assistant to Christian Dior at the age of 17. Dior died just four years later, and as a very young man Saint-Laurent was named head of the House of Dior. However, in 1950 Saint-Laurent was conscripted into the French Army and ended up in a military hospital after suffering a mental breakdown from the hazing inflicted on him by his fellow soldiers. His treatment included electroshock therapy and administration of sedatives and psychoactive drugs. He was released from hospital, managed to pull his life back together and started his own fashion house. A remarkable story …