Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers are famous titles that indicate a timeframe, but that timeframe has been extended. Something a PROCRASTINATOR might do:
- 60A. Off-putting sorts? : PROCRASTINATORS
- 17A. War film with a cast of 60-Across? : APOCALYPSE LATER (from “Apocalypse Now”)
- 28A. Newspaper with a staff of 60-Across? : USA TOMORROW (from “USA Today”)
- 44A. 1969 hit song by a group of 60-Across? : NEXT MAGIC MOMENT (from “This Magic Moment”)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Subj. for a non-native speaker : ESL
English as a Second Language (ESL) is sometimes referred to as English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL).
4. __-top: Beatles’ style : MOP
The classic Beatles haircut was called the mop-top. Apparently John Lennon and Paul McCartney saw someone wearing the style in Hamburg, and they liked it. The pair hitchhiked from Hamburg to Paris, and when at their destination had their hair cut that way for the first time.
7. Much of “Star Wars” FX : CGI
Computer-generated imagery (CGI)
“FX” is an abbreviation for “effects”, as in “special effects”.
13. __ Michele, 8-Down co-star : LEA
8D. TV show with mashups : GLEE
Lea Michele is both an actor and a singer and started performing as a child actor on Broadway, including appearances in “Les Miserables” and “Fiddler on the Roof”. These days Michele plays Rachel Berry on the Fox TV show “Glee”.
14. “The Princess Diaries” princess : MIA
“The Princess Diaries” is a series of novels for young adults by Meg Cabot. There have been two Disney adaptations of the books, both starring Anne Hathaway as Mia Thermopolis and Julie Andrews as Queen Clarisse Renaldi.
15. Tetris shape : ELL
Tetris is a very addictive video game that was developed in the Soviet Union in 1984. The name Tetris comes from a melding of the prefix “tetra-” (as all the game pieces have four segments) and “tennis” (a favorite sport played by the developer). Since 2005 there have been more than 100 million copies of the game installed on cell phones alone.
16. Sporty truck, briefly : UTE
A utility vehicle is often called a “ute” for short. Nowadays one mainly hears about sports utes and crossover utes.
17. War film with a cast of 60-Across? : APOCALYPSE LATER (from “Apocalypse Now”)
The epic war drama “Apocalypse Now” was released in 1979 and starred Martin Sheen as Captain Willard and Marlon Brando as Colonel Kurtz. The premise of the film is that both Willard and Kurtz are special ops officers, with Willard sent into the jungle to assassinate Kurtz who has “gone rogue”. The film is notorious for the trouble that director Francis Ford Coppola had completing the shoot. Brando turned up on set grossly overweight (as a special ops guy!), and poor Martin Sheen had a heart attack during filming.
21. “Rock and Roll All __”: Kiss hit : NITE
KISS is a hard rock band from New York City. KISS is the group whose band members use all that scary face paint and wear wacky outfits on stage.
26. Cool, once : HEP
The slang term “hep” meaning “cool” has the same meaning as the later derivative term “hip”. The origins of “hep” seem unclear, but it was adopted by jazz musicians of the early 1900s.
28. Newspaper with a staff of 60-Across? : USA TOMORROW (from “USA Today”)
The title of widest circulation of any American newspaper is an honor competed for by “The Wall Street Journal” and “USA Today”, with each paper selling about 2 million copies each day (including online subscribers). “USA Today” was launched in 1982.
31. Dough for ramen? : YEN
The Korean Won, the Chinese Yuan, and the Japanese Yen (all of which are Asian currencies) take their names from the Chinese written character that represents “round shape”.
Ramen is a noodle dish composed of Chinese-style wheat noodles in a meat or fish broth flavored with soy or miso sauce. Ramen is usually topped with sliced pork and dried seaweed. The term “ramen” is a also used for precooked, instant noodles that come in single-serving, solid blocks.
37. “Hamlet, thou art slain” speaker : LAERTES
In William Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet”, Laertes is the son of Polonius and brother of Ophelia. It is Laertes who kills Hamlet using a poisoned sword..
43. Big name in big tractors : DEERE
John Deere invented the first commercially successful steel plow in 1837. Prior to Deere’s invention, farmers used an iron or wooden plow that constantly had to be cleaned as rich soil stuck to its surfaces. The cast-steel plow was revolutionary as its smooth sides solved the problem of “stickiness”. The Deere company that John founded uses the slogan “Nothing Runs Like a Deere”, and has a leaping deer as its logo.
44. 1969 hit song by a group of 60-Across? : NEXT MAGIC MOMENT (from “This Magic Moment”)
“This Magic Moment” is a song that was first recorded by the Drifters, in 1960. The most successful recording was by Jay and the Americans, which was released in 1969.
51. Actress Ramirez of “Grey’s Anatomy” : SARA
Sara Ramirez is a Mexican-American actress known for playing Callie Torres in “Grey’s Anatomy”. In 2005, Ramirez won a Tony Award for originating the role of Lady of the Lake in the “Spamalot” on Broadway.
55. __ d’Alene : COEUR
The city, lake and river in Idaho called Coeur d’Alene are all named for the Coeur d’Alene People, Native Americans who lived in the area when it was first explored by French Canadian fur traders. “Coeur d’Alene” translates from French as “heart of an awl”. The Native American people were given this name as they were perceived as shrewd traders by their Canadian counterparts.
56. Mideast sultanate : OMAN
Oman lies on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula and is neighbored by the OAE, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Oman is a monarchy, and the official name of the state is the Sultanate of Oman. All of the country’s legislative, executive and judiciary power resides with the hereditary sultan.
63. Pie choice : A LA MODE
In French, “à la mode” simply means “fashionable”. In America, the term has also come to describe a way of serving pie. Pie served à la mode includes a dollop of cream or ice cream, or as I recall from my time living in Upstate New York, with a wedge of cheddar cheese.
1. Twisty-horned antelope : ELAND
An eland is a large African antelope, in fact the largest on the continent. Both male and female elands have horns, and those horns have a steady spiral ridge along their length.
2. Photo app effect : SEPIA
Sepia is that lovely rich, brown-grey color so common in old photographs. “Sepia” is the Latinized version of the Greek word for cuttlefish, as sepia pigment is derived from the ink sac of the cuttlefish.The “sepia tone” of old photographs is not the result of deterioration over time. Rather, it is the result of a deliberate preservation process which converts the metallic silver in the photographic image to a more stable silver sulfide. Prints that have been sepia-toned can last in excess of 150 years.
3. Founder of Taoism : LAO-TZU
Lao Tse (also Lao-Tzu) was a central figure in the development of the religion/philosophy of Taoism. Tradition holds that Lao-Tzu wrote the “Tao Te Ching”, a classical Chinese text that is fundamental to the philosophy of Taoism.
4. Sport for Ronda Rousey, for short : MMA
Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a full-contact combat sport in which competitors use a variety of techniques from a variety of traditional combat sports and martial arts.
Ronda Rousey is a mixed martial artist, and the first US woman to win an Olympic medal in judo. Rousey is a popular person online, with hers being the third most searched name on Google in 2015 (after Lamar Odom and Caitlyn Jenner).
7. Center of moral corruption : CESSPOOL
A cesspit (also “cesspool”) is a covered tank or pit used for the disposal of human waste. The term can be used figuratively to describe a corrupt place or situation.
8. TV show with mashups : GLEE
The TV show called “Glee” has proven to be very popular. The storyline focuses on a high school glee club in Lima, Ohio called New Directions.
“Mash-up” is a slang term, describing perhaps a television show that is a mixture of content from different programs, or a musical recording combining tracks from two or more recordings.
12. Fronded plants : FERNS
Ferns are unlike mosses, in that they have xylem and phloem, making them vascular plants. They also have stems, leaves and roots, but they do not have seeds and flowers, and reproduce using spores. Spores differ from seeds in that they have very little stored food.
19. Sonnet, e.g. : POEM
A sonnet is a short poem with varying rhyming schemes but always with 14 lines. The sonnet form has been around at least since the 13th century. The Shakespearean sonnet, for example, is composed of three quatrains (4 lines) and a final couplet (2 lines).
27. “Another word for nothin’ left to lose,” in a Joplin hit : FREEDOM
Janis Joplin recorded the song “Me and Bobby McGee” just a few days before she died in 1970. The song was released anyway, and it became Joplin’s only number one single. There have been just two posthumous number one singles: Joplin’s “Me and Bobby McGee”, and Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ on) the Dock of the Bay”.
Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose
And nothin’ ain’t worth nothin’ but it’s free
Feelin’ good was easy, Lord, when Bobby sang the blues
And buddy, that was good enough for me
Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee.
29. __ Aviv : TEL
The full name of Israel’s second largest city is Tel Aviv-Yafo. Tel Aviv translates into “Spring Mound”, a name chosen in 1910.
30. Genetic messenger molecule : RNA
Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up each protein. That sequence is read in DNA by messenger RNA, and amino acids are delivered for protein manufacture in the correct sequence by what is called transfer RNA. The amino acids are then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA.
33. The Scooby gang’s Mystery Machine, e.g. : VAN
“Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!” is a series of cartoons produced for Hanna-Barbera Productions, first broadcast in 1969. The title character is a great Dane dog owned by a young male called Shaggy Rogers. The character’s name was inspired by the famous “doo-be-doo-be-doo” refrain in the Frank Sinatra hit “Strangers in the Night”. Shaggy was voiced by famed disk jockey Casey Kasem.
35. Spell : HEX
“Hexen” is a German word meaning “to practice witchcraft”. The use of the word “hex” in English started with the Pennsylvania Dutch in the early 1800s.
36. QB’s mishap : INT
38. Dream state letters : REM
REM is an acronym standing for Rapid Eye Movement sleep. REM sleep takes up 20-25% of the sleeping hours and is the period associated with one’s most vivid dreams.
45. Centipede home? : ARCADE
Our word “arcade” comes from the Latin “arcus” meaning “arc”. The first arcades were passages made from a series of arches. This could be an avenue of trees, and eventually any covered avenue. I remember arcades lined with shops and stores when I was growing up on the other side of the Atlantic. Arcades came to be lined with lots of amusements, resulting in amusement arcades and video game arcades.
Centipede is an arcade game from Atari (it was my favorite!). The game was designed by Ed Logg and Dona Bailey, with Bailey being one of the few female game designers back then (it was released in 1980). Perhaps due to her influence, Centipede was the first arcade game to garner a significant female following.
46. Stimulated : GOOSED
“To goose” is to prod into action, albeit a little rudely. A “goose” is a prod or a pinch in the rear end.
49. Eliot’s weaver : MARNER
“Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe” is a novel written by George Eliot and first published in 1861. There’s an excellent BBC TV version of the tale (shown on PBS) starring Ben Kingsley in the title role, with Patsy Kensit playing Eppie, the young orphaned child that Marner takes under his wing.
51. Canned meat used in Hawaiian cuisine : SPAM
Spam is a precooked meat product that is sold in cans. It was introduced by Hormel Foods in 1937. The main meat ingredients are pork shoulder meat and ham. The name “Spam” was chosen as the result of a competition at Hormel, with the winner earning himself a hundred dollars. According to the company, the derivation of the name “Spam” is a secret known by only a few former executives, but the speculation is that it stands for “spiced ham” or “shoulders of pork and ham”. Spam is particularly popular in Hawaii, so popular that it is sometimes referred to as “the Hawaiian steak”.
52. “The Good Dinosaur” dinosaur : ARLO
“The Good Dinosaur” is a Pixar movie that premiered in Paris on November 14th, 2015 under the title “Le Voyage d’Arlo”.
53. Reddish horse : ROAN
A roan horse has an even mixture of white and colored hairs on the body with the head, lower legs, mane and tail having a more solid color.
54. Source of cartoon explosives : ACME
The Acme Corporation is a fictional company used mainly by Looney Tunes, and within the Looney Tunes empire it was used mostly in the “Road Runner” cartoons. Wile E. Coyote was always receiving a new piece of gear from Acme designed to finally capture the Road Runner, but the equipment always led to his downfall instead.
56. Other, south of the border : OTRA
In Spanish, the “otra” (other) is neither “esta” (this) nor “esa” (that).
57. Castle defense : MOAT
A “moat” is a protective trench that surrounds a castle, say, or a an exhibit in a zoo. A moat may or may not be filled with water.
58. Basic class with easels : ART I
The word “easel” comes from an old Dutch word meaning “donkey” would you believe? The idea is that an easel carries its load (an oil painting, say) just as a donkey would be made to carry a load.
59. Tiny time pd. : NSEC
“Nanosecond” is more correctly abbreviated to “ns” (as opposed to “nsec”) and really is a tiny amount of time: one billionth of a second.
61. Siegfried collaborator : ROY
Siegfried & Roy is a magic act that is famous for the use of white lions and tigers on stage. Siegfried Fischbacher and Uwe Ludwig “Roy” Horn are from Germany, but have lived in Las Vegas for many years. Horn was seriously injured during a performance at the Mirage in Vegas in 2003 when a white tiger bit him on the back of the neck. That incident marked the end of Siegfried and Roy’s on-stage career.
62. PDX info: Abbr. : ARR
Portland International Airport has the IATA airport code PDX. PDX is the largest airport in Oregon and is used jointly for civil and military traffic. Portland International opened in 1927, and was dedicated by celebrated aviator Charles Lindbergh.