Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers come in CONNECTED pairs. Both elements of the pairs have the same clue, and the pair of answer sit beside each other in the grid. The answer on the right of the grid is in English; the answer on the left of the grid is an equivalent FRENCH term that has been absorbed into English:
- 22A. Outcome : DENOUEMENT
- 24A. Outcome : RESOLUTION
- 38A. “Win some, lose some” : C’EST LA VIE
- 41A. “Win some, lose some” : THAT’S LIFE
- 65A. Bare : AU NATUREL
- 68A. Bare : BUCK NAKED
- 91A. “Confidentially … ” : ENTRE NOUS …
- 94A. “Confidentially … ” : BETWEEN US …
- 110A. Fine dining aficionados : BON VIVANTS
- 113A. Fine dining aficionados : EPICUREANS
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Starbucks serving : LATTE
Starbucks is a coffee company based in Seattle, Washington. It is the largest coffeehouse company in the world and has over 19,000 stores. In the 1990s, Starbucks was opening one new store every single day! Starbucks is named after the chief mate on the Pequod in Herman Melville’s book “Moby Dick”.
6. Pound foot? : IAMB
An iamb is a metrical foot containing an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable. Robert Frost’s “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening” consists of lines made up of four sequential iambs e.g. “Whose woods / these are / I think / I know”. With a sequence of four iambs, the poem’s structure is described as iambic tetrameter.
Ezra Pound was an American poet who spent much of his life wandering the world, spending years in London, Paris, and Italy. In Italy, Pound’s work and sympathies for Mussolini’s regime led to his arrest at the end of the war. His major work was the epic, albeit incomplete, “The Cantos”. This epic poem is divided into 120 sections, each known as a canto.
10. Busy co. on Mother’s Day : FTD
Back in 1910, fifteen florists from around America agreed to fulfill each other’s orders using the telegraph system, setting up what they called the Florists’ Telegraph Delivery. The concept grew so large that in 1965 the group started to offer international service, and changed its name to Florists’ Transworld Delivery (FTD).
Note the official punctuation in “Mother’s Day”, even though one might think it should be “Mothers’ Day”. President Wilson and Anna Jarvis, who created the tradition, specifically wanted Mother’s Day to honor the mothers within each family and not just “mothers” in general, so they went with the “Mother’s Day” punctuation.
21. Capricious : FICKLE
Something “capricious” is impulsive or unpredictable. The term comes into English from the Italian “capriccio” meaning “sudden start or motion”, which in turn comes from the Latin word “capreolus” meaning “wild goat”.
22. Outcome : DENOUEMENT
The “denouement” is the final resolution of a dramatic plot. The term is French, and derives from the Old French for “untying”, an “unknotting” as it were.
27. Advanced legal deg. : LLM
The advanced degree of Master of Laws is commonly abbreviated to “LL.M”, a shortening of the Latin term “Legum Magister” meaning “Master of Laws”.
28. Souvenirs with three holes in them : TEES
Those would be the head and two armholes in a tee-shirt.
31. Dr.’s order : MRI
An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine uses powerful magnetic fields to generate its images so there is no exposure to ionizing radiation (such as X-rays). We used MRI equipment in our chemistry labs at school, way back in the days when the technology was still called Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging (NMRI). Apparently the marketing folks didn’t like the term “nuclear” because of its association with atomic bombs, so now it’s just called MRI.
32. Keisters : CABOOSES
The word “caboose” originally came from Middle Dutch and was the word for a ship’s galley. When the last car in a train in North America was given a stove for the comfort of the crew, it took on the name “caboose”. The term has also become slang for a person’s backside.
Back in the early 1900s a “keister” was a safe or a strongbox. It has been suggested that this term was then used as slang by pickpockets for the rear trouser pocket in which one might keep a wallet. From this usage, keister appeared as a slang term for the buttocks in the early 1930s.
37. Hosea contemporary : AMOS
Amos is one of the twelve minor prophets in the Hebrew Bible.
Hosea was one of the Twelve Prophets of the Hebrew Bible, also called the Minor Prophets of the Old Testament in the Christian Bible.
38. “Win some, lose some” : C’EST LA VIE
“C’est la vie” is French for “that’s life”.
45. Countryman of Gary Player : ERNIE ELS
Ernie Els is a South African golfer. Els a big guy but he has an easy fluid golf swing that has earned him the nickname “The Big Easy”. He is a former World No. 1 and has won four majors: the US Open (1994 & 1997) and the British Open (2002 & 2012).
Gary Player is a professional golfer from South Africa. To me, Player has always come across as a real gentleman with a great personality. Living in South Africa and playing mainly in the US, he has logged over 15 million air miles. That’s believed to be a record for any athlete.
47. Training group : CADRE
A “cadre” is most commonly a group of experienced personnel at the core of a larger organization that the small group trains or heavily influences. “Cadre” is a French word meaning a “frame”. We use it in the sense that a cadre is a group that provides a “framework” for the larger organization.
52. Mount delivery : SERMON
The Sermon on the Mount is a collection of teachings of Jesus recorded in the Gospel of Matthew. One famous section of the discourse is known as the Beatitudes. The eight Beatitudes are:
- … Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
- … Blessed are those who mourn: for they will be comforted
- … Blessed are the meek: for they will inherit the earth
- … Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they will be filled
- … Blessed are the merciful: for they will be shown mercy
- … Blessed are the pure in heart: for they will see God
- … Blessed are the peacemakers: for they will be called children of God
- … Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
56. Often elided pronoun : YOU ALL
That would be “y’all”.
58. Grandpa Walton portrayer : GEER
Actor Will Geer died in 1978, just after filming the sixth season of “The Waltons” in which he played Grandpa Zeb Walton. Geer was a noted social activist and was blacklisted in the fifties for refusing to appear before the all-powerful House Committee on Un-American Activities.
60. Like Perot in the 1992 pres. election : IND
Ross Perot graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1953, as president of his class. Perot served his 4-year commitment but then resigned his commission, apparently having become somewhat disillusioned with the navy. He was ranked number 101 on the Forbes 400 List of Richest Americans in 2012, and at that time was worth about $3.5 billion. Back in 1992, Perot ran as an independent candidate for US president. He founded the Reform Party in 1995, and ran as the Reform Party candidate for president in 1996.
61. The ’70s, in a Tom Wolfe essay : “ME” DECADE
The term “‘Me’ Decade” was applied to the 1970s by novelist Tom Wolfe. His point was that the seventies was an era for the individual which compared starkly with the communal focus of the sixties, the hippie age.
63. “When We Were Kings” subject : ALI
“When We Were Kings” is a documentary by Leon Gast that was released in 1996. It tells of the “Rumble in the Jumble” world heavyweight title fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman that took place in Zaire. That’s the fight with the famous “rope-a-dope” tactic that tired out Foreman, and left him selling grills for the rest of his life …
64. __ club : GLEE
A glee club is a choir group, usually of males, that sings short songs known as “glees”. A glee is a song scored for three or more voices that is performed unaccompanied.
65. Bare : AU NATUREL
“Au naturel” is a French phrase, simply meaning “in a natural state”. We use the term in the same sense, and also to mean “nude”.
68. Bare : BUCK NAKED
Apparently the term “buck-naked” is just a polite way of saying “butt-naked”, and has nothing to do with a buck at all.
71. Org. with lanes : PBA
Professional Bowlers Association (PBA)
72. Elegantly, to Vivaldi : GRAZIOSO
Grazioso is a musical direction, an instruction to play elegantly and gracefully.
Antonio Vivaldi was one of the great composers of the Baroque period. He achieved fame and success within in his own lifetime, notoriety that faded soon after he died. Vivaldi’s music has reemerged in recent decades and I am sure everyone is familiar with at least part of his most famous composition, the violin concerto called “The Four Seasons”. Vivaldi was nicknamed “The Red Priest” because he was indeed a priest, and he had red hair.
75. Bell curve figure : MEAN
In a set of numbers, the mean is the average value of those numbers. The median is the numeric value at which half the numbers have a lower value, and half the numbers a higher value. The mode is the value that appears most often in the whole set of numbers.
A “bell curve” shape in a graph is more correctly known as a Gaussian function. The frequency with which many phenomena occur in nature results in a bell curve shape.
76. Like a quarter’s edge : REEDED
The grooves on the edge of some coins are known as reeds. Reeded edges used to help prevent counterfeiting, but these days the main purpose is to allow differentiation between different denominations using the sense of touch.
84. Routine first baseman? : WHO
Bud Abbott and Lou Costello made up the comedy duo Abbott and Costello who were immensely popular in the forties and fifties. Even when I was growing up in Ireland and knew nothing about baseball, I was rolling around the floor listening to Abbott and Costello’s famous “Who’s on First?” comedy routine. Can you name all the players
First Base: Who
Second Base: What
Third Base: I Don’t Know
Left field: Why
Center field: Because
Shortstop: I Don’t Care/I Don’t Give a Darn
86. Mushers’ transports : DOGSLEDS
“Mushing” is the use of one or more dogs to pull a sled. “Mush” is thought to come from the French “marche” meaning “go, run”.
89. “I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie” author : EBERT
“I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie” is a collection consisting of a couple of hundred of Roger Ebert’s most acerbic and negative film reviews. Included are reviews of “Armageddon” (1998), “The Beverly Hillbillies” (1993) and “Police Academy” (1984).
91. “Confidentially … ” : ENTRE NOUS …
In French, something might perhaps be discussed “entre deux” (between two) or “entre nous” (between us).
96. Gospel singer Winans : CECE
CeCe Winans (real name Priscilla) is a Gospel music singer. She is part of a duo with her brother, BeBe Winans (real name Benjamin).
98. Coup target : ETAT
A coup d’état (often just “coup”) is the sudden overthrow of a government, and comes from the French for “stroke of state”. The Swiss-German word “putsch” is sometimes used instead of “coup”, with “Putsch” translating literally as “sudden blow”.
99. The 3rd Avenue line was the last of them to operate in Manhattan : EL TRAINS
The IRT Third Avenue El was one of the last elevated trains to operate in Manhattan. The line opened in 1878, and the last of the service was shut down in 1973. Trains running along the Third Avenue El were a popular backdrop used in movies set in New York City.
101. Beatle bride : ONO
John Lennon and Yoko Ono married at the height of the Vietnam War in 1969. The couple decided to use the inevitable publicity surrounding their wedding and honeymoon to promote peace in the world. They honeymooned in the Presidential Suite of the Amsterdam Hilton, inviting the world’s press to join them and to witness their “bed-in”. They spent the week talking about peace, and an end to war. The marriage and bed-in is chronicled by the Beatles in their song “The Ballad of John and Yoko”.
102. Actress Garner, familiarly : JEN
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.
103. Fill past full : SATE
“Sate” is a variant of the older word “satiate”. Both terms can mean either to satisfy an appetite fully, or to eat to excess.
105. Singer DiFranco : ANI
Ani DiFranco is a folk-rock singer and songwriter. DiFranco has also been labeled a “feminist icon”, and in 2006 won the “Woman of Courage Award” from National Organization of Women.
110. Fine dining aficionados : BON VIVANTS
A bon vivant (plural “bons vivants”) is a person who enjoys the best of food and drink, a person with very refined tastes. The term is French, coming from “good living” in that language.
An “aficionado” is an enthusiast, a word that came to us from Spanish. “Aficionado” was originally used in English to describe a devotee of bullfighting.
113. Fine dining aficionados : EPICUREANS
An epicure is a gourmet, one who appreciates fine food and drink in particular. The term is derived from the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus.
116. Senescence : OLD AGE
Something or someone described as senescent is aging, growing old. The term comes from the Latin “senex” meaning “old”.
118. Take-out order? : DELE
“Dele” is the editorial instruction to delete something from a document, and is often written in red.
119. Snowy __ : EGRET
The snowy egret is a small white heron, native to the Americas. At one time the egret species was in danger of extinction due to hunting driven by the demand for plumes for women’s hats.
121. News letters : UPI
Founded in 1958, United Press International (UPI) used to be one of the biggest news agencies in the world, sending out news by wire to the major newspapers. UPI ran into trouble with the change in media formats at the end of the twentieth century and lost many of its clients as the afternoon newspapers shut down due to the advent of television news. UPI, which once employed thousands, still exists today but with just a handful of employees.
123. Chinese toys, for short : PEKES
The pekingese breed originated in China, as one might suspect from the name. Breeding practices have resulted in the the dog having many health problems, including breathing issues related to the “desirable” flat face. Standards have been changed in recent years, demanding an “evident muzzle” in an attempt to breed healthier “pekes”.
1. Some SLR displays : LCDS
Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) are the screens that are found in most laptops today, and in flat panel computer screens and some televisions. LCD monitors basically replaced Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) screens, the old television technology.
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.
3. Chinese secret society : TONG
A “tong”, in the sense of being an organization within the Chinese immigrant community, is a North American phenomenon. The original intent of the tongs was to provide benevolent support and protection for members, but even since the early 1800s some tongs have been associated with crime. The word “tong” means “hall” or “gathering place”.
5. Email ending : EDU
The .edu domain was one of the six original generic top-level domains specified. The complete original list is:
- .com (commercial enterprise)
- .net (entity involved in network infrastructure e.g. an ISP)
- .mil (US military)
- .org (not-for-profit organization)
- .gov (US federal government entity)
- .edu (college-level educational institution)
6. 1975 Jackson 5 hit : I AM LOVE
The Jackson 5 singing group was originally made up of brothers Tito, Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael.
8. Time div. : MIN
The hour is subdivided into 60 parts, each of which was known as a “pars minuta prima” in Medieval Latin, translating as “first small part”. This phrase “pars minuta prima” evolved into our word “minute”. The “pars minuta prima” (minute) was further divided into 60 parts, each called a “secunda pars minuta”, meaning “second small part”. “Secunda pars minuta” evolved into our term “second”.
9. Actress Davis : BETTE
I must confess that I have a problem watching movies starring Bette Davis. I think I must have seen her play one of her more sinister roles when I was a kid and it gave me nightmares or something.
11. Site of Mount Olympus : THESSALY
The region of Greece known as Thessaly used to be called Aeolia, and appears in Homer’s “Odyssey” under that name.
Mount Olympus is the highest peak in Greece. In Greek mythology, Mount Olympus was home to the gods, and in particular home to the principal gods known as the Twelve Olympians.
12. “__ Kapital” : DAS
“Das Kapital” (entitled “Capital” in English versions) is a book about political economy written by Karl Marx, first published in 1867. The book is in effect an analysis of capitalism, and proffers the opinion that capitalism relies on the exploitation of workers. Marx concludes that the profits from capitalist concerns come from the underpaying of labor.
13. Name of 12 popes : PIUS
There have been twelve popes named Pius, the latest being Pope Pius XII who led the Roman Catholic Church until his death in 1958.
14. Fall mo. : OCT
October is the tenth month in our calendar but was the eighth month in the old Roman calendar, hence the prefix “octo-”. Back then there were only ten months in the year. “Ianuarius” (January) and “Februarius” were then added as the eleventh and twelfth months of the year. Soon after, the year was reset and January and February became the first and second months.
15. Whole alternative, in Nottingham : SKIMMED MILK
The fatty component of milk is known as butterfat (sometime “milkfat”). To be labeled “whole” milk, the butterfat content must be at least 3.25%. Lowfat milk is defined as milk containing 0.5-2% fat, with levels of 1% and 2% commonly found on grocery store shelves. Skim milk must contain less than 0.5% fat, and typically contains 0.1%.
16. Ecuadoran province once famous for its gold : EL ORO
El Oro is a coastal province in the south of Ecuador. El Oro (meaning “The Gold”) takes its name from the gold production industry. The province is also one of the biggest banana exporters in the world.
17. Patron saint of France : DENIS
Not only is Saint Denis (also “Denys”) the patron saint of France, but he is also the patron saint of Paris. Denis was the first Bishop of Paris, in the 3rd century AD, and was martyred by having his head chopped off. The legend surrounding this event is that the executed Denis picked up his head and walked for six miles, delivering a sermon the whole way.
23. Island near Corsica : ELBA
I had a lovely two-week vacation in Tuscany once, including what was supposed to be a two-night stay on the island of Elba. I had envisioned Elba as a place full of history, and maybe it is, but it is also overrun with tourists who use it as a beach getaway. We left after one day and we won’t be going back again …
Corsica is a large island in the Mediterranean Sea belonging to France. Napoléon Bonaparte was born on Corsica, in the town of Ajaccio.
25. Resistance units : OHMS
The unit of electrical resistance is the ohm (with the symbol omega) named after German physicist Georg Simon Ohm. Ohm was the guy who established experimentally that the amount of current flowing through a circuit is directly proportional to the voltage applied, (V=IR) a relationship that every schoolkid knows as Ohm’s Law.
29. Co-star of Bea, Betty and Rue : ESTELLE
The actress Estelle Getty was best known for playing Sophia Petrillo on “The Golden Girls”. Bea Arthur played Sophia’s daughter on the show, even though Estelle was actually a year younger than Bea in real life!
Actress Bea Arthur’s most famous roles were on television, as the lead in the “All in the Family” spin-off “Maude” and as Dorothy Zbornak in “The Golden Girls”. Arthur also won a Tony for playing Vera Charles on stage in the original cast of “Mame” in 1966, two years after she played Yente the matchmaker in the original cast of “Fiddler on the Roof”.
The comic actress Betty White has been at the top of her game for decades. White started her television career with an appearance with high school classmates on a local Los Angeles show back in 1939. Her most famous TV run was co-hosting the Tournament of Roses Parade, a gig she had for nineteen years in the sixties and seventies. Given her long career, White holds a number of records in the world of entertainment. For example, she is the oldest person to host “Saturday Night Live” (at 88) and she is the oldest woman to win a Grammy (at 90).
The actress Rue McClanahan was best known for her television sitcom roles, as Vivian Harmon on “Maude” and as Blanche Devereaux on “The Golden Girls”.
36. Parts of gals. : QTS
The unit of volume “quart” is so called because it is one quarter of a gallon.
The name of our fluid measure called a “gallon” ultimately comes from the Medieval Latin term “galleta” meaning “bucket, pail”.
38. Pitch indicator : CLEF
“Clef” is the French word for “key”. In music, a clef is used to indicate the pitch of the notes written on the stave. The bass clef is also known as the F-clef, the alto clef is the C-clef, and the treble clef is the G-clef.
39. Architect Saarinen : EERO
Eero Saarinen was a Finnish American architect, renowned in this country for his unique designs for public buildings such as Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Dulles International Airport Terminal, and the TWA building at JFK. The list of his lesser-known, but still impressive, works includes several buildings erected on academic campuses. For example, the Chapel and Kresge Auditorium on the MIT campus, the Emma Hartman Noyes House at Vassar College, the Law School building at the University of Chicago, and Yale’s David S. Ingalls Rink.
40. Coal-rich German region : SAAR
Saarland, often referred to in English as “the Saar”, is one of Germany’s sixteen federal states and is located in the west of the country, on the borders with France and Luxembourg. Saarland is named for the Saar River that runs through the state. There is a lot of industry in the Saar region, historically “fueled” by the region’s plentiful supply of coal.
48. Actress Blakley : RONEE
Ronee Blakley is an actress from Nampa, Idaho, best known for playing the country singer Barbara Jean in the 1975 film “Nashville”.
52. Watch word? : SEIKO
Seiko Epson is a Japanese company, one of the largest manufacturers of printers in the world. The company has its roots in the watch business, roots that go back to 1942. Seiko was chosen as the official timekeeper for the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and was asked to supply a timer that produced a printed record. This request brought Seiko into the business of printer production. The company developed the world’s first mini-printer for the 1964 Games and called it EP-101 (EP standing for Electronic Printer). In 1975 Seiko introduced the next generation of EP printers which was called EPSON, from “SON of EP”. Cute, huh?
54. Fed after tax evaders : T-MAN
A T-man is a law-enforcement agent of the US Treasury (T is for “Treasury”).
55. Worked (up) : HET
Someone who is “het up” is “worked up, angry”. “Het” is an archaic word meaning “heated”.
56. __ Buena, town that became San Francisco : YERBA
The location now known as San Francisco as settled in 1776 and named Yerba Buena. “Yerba buena” (from the Spanish “hierba buena” meaning “good herb”) is the common name for a plant that was native to the site. The town of Yerba Buena was taken by the US in 1846 during the Mexican-American War. The following year, the town’s name was changed to San Francisco after a nearby mission.
57. Continental divide? : OCEAN
Oceanus was a mythical figure personifying an enormous river that the ancient Greeks and Romans believed encircled the world. It is from the name “Oceanus” that we get out modern term “Ocean”.
58. Surgical dressing : GAUZE
The surgical dressing called gauze is named for the thin fabric with a loose weave that is also called gauze. The fabric’s name might possibly be derived from the Palestinian city of Gaza that has a history of gauze production.
59. Castilian hero : EL CID
Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar was known as El Cid Campeador, which translates as “The Champion” or perhaps “The Lord, Master of Military Arts”. El Cid was a soldier who fought under the rule of King Alfonso VI of Spain (among others). However, he was sent into exile by the King in 1080, after acting beyond his authorization in battle. El Cid then offered his services to his former foes, the Moorish kings, After a number of years building a reputation with the Moors, he was recalled from exile by Alfonso. By this time El Cid was very much his own man. Nominally under the orders of Alfonso, he led a combined army of Spanish and Moorish troops and took the city of Valencia on the Mediterranean coast, making it is headquarters and home. He died there, quite peacefully in 1099.
The Kingdom of Castile was one seven medieval kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula. The name comes from the large number of castles that were built across the kingdom.
62. Had : DUPED
A dupe is someone who is easily fooled, a “live one”, one who is easily the victim of deception.
64. Canterbury pen : GAOL
Both “jail” and “gaol” are pronounced the same way, mean the same thing and are rooted in the same Latin word for “cave”. The spelling “gaol” is seen quite often in the UK, although it is gradually being replaced with “jail”. The “gaol” spelling has Norman roots and tends to be used in Britain in more formal documentation.
Canterbury is a city in the southeast of England in the county of Kent. Canterbury is famous for Canterbury Cathedral where Thomas Becket was murdered in 1170, making it a pilgrimage destination for Christians. It was one of these pilgrimages that was the inspiration for Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales” written in the 14th century.
69. Pres. advisory team : NSC
The National Security Council (NSC) was created by President Harry S. Truman in 1947. The NSC is chaired by the sitting president and meets in the White House Situation Room.
76. Popular pasta topping : RAGU
The Ragú brand of pasta sauce is owned by Unilever. The name ” Ragù” is the Italian word for a sauce used to dress pasta, however the spelling is off a little. In Italian the word is “Ragù” with a grave accent over the “u”, but if you look at a jar of the sauce on the supermarket shelf it is spelled “Ragú” on the label, with an acute accent. Sometimes I think we just don’t try …
78. Actor Wilson : OWEN
The actor Owen Wilson was nominated for an Oscar, but not for his acting. He was nominated for co-writing the screenplay for “The Royal Tenenbaums” along with Wes Anderson.
80. Tipplers : SOTS
Our word “sot” comes from the Old English “sott”, meaning “fool”. The word “sot” started to be associated with alcohol and not just foolery in the late 1500s.
86. Chain letters? : DNA
Francis Crick and James Watson discovered that DNA had a double-helix, chain-like structure, and published their results in Cambridge in 1953. To this day the discovery is mired in controversy, as some crucial results collected by fellow researcher Rosalind Franklin were used without her permission or even knowledge.
90. Surround : BESIEGE
Our word “siege” comes from a 13th century word for a “seat”. The military usage derives from the concept of a besieging force “sitting down” outside a fortress until it falls.
92. Superman player : REEVE
The actor Christopher Reeve was most associated with his portrayal of Superman in the late seventies and early eighties. Reeve became paralyzed from the neck down when he fell from a horse in a jumping event in 1995. He passed away in 2004.
93. It towers over Taormina : ETNA
Taormina is a village on the coast of Sicily that is a popular tourist destination. The village sits perched on a cliff, and overlooks the Ionian Sea. It is also about a 45-minute drive from Mount Etna, Europe’s largest active volcano.
95. 2012 Nintendo debut : WII U
The Wii U video game console is the successor to Nintendo’s Wii. I’m wondering if “Wii U” is some sort of play on the pronouns “we” and “you”? Maybe I just think too much …
96. Early computer language : COBOL
COBOL is one of the oldest computer programming languages, with the acronym standing for COmmon Business-Oriented Language. COBOL was developed in 1959 by “the mother of the COBOL language”, programmer Grace Hopper.
97. __ Gay: WWII bomber : ENOLA
The Enola Gay was the B-29 that dropped the first atomic bomb, on Hiroshima in August 1945. Enola Gay was the name of the mother of pilot Col. Paul W. Tibbets, Jr.
100. West Yorkshire city : LEEDS
I went to school for a while not far from Leeds in West Yorkshire in the north of England. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, Leeds was a major center for the production and trading of wool, and then with the onset of mechanization it became a natural hub for manufacture of textiles. These days Leeds is noted as a shopping destination and so has been dubbed “the Knightsbridge of the North”.
102. Sprightly dances : JIGS
The dance known as a “jig” is most associated with Ireland and Scotland. In traditional Irish dancing, the jig is second in popularity only to the reel. The most famous Irish jig is probably “The Irish Washerwoman”. I may not dance a jig, but I sure do know the tune of “The Irish Washerwoman” …
104. Italian wine center : ASTI
Asti is a city in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. The region is perhaps most famous for its Asti Spumante sparkling white wine.
108. Cap site : KNEE
The patella is the kneecap. “Patella” is the Latin term for the bone, and is a diminutive form of “patina”, the word for “pan”. The idea is that the kneecap is pan-shaped.
109. Retired fliers : SSTS
The most famous supersonic transport (SST) is the retired Concorde. The Concorde routinely broke the sound barrier, and cruised at about twice the speed of sound. Above Mach 2, frictional heat would cause the plane’s aluminum airframe to soften, so airspeed was limited.
112. Manhattan sch. : NYU
The main campus of the private New York University (NYU) is located right in Manhattan, in Washington Square in the heart of Greenwich Village. NYU has over 12,000 resident students, the largest number of residents in a private school in the whole country. NYU’s sports teams are known as the Violets, a reference to the violet and white colors that are worn in competition. Since the 1980s, the school’s mascot has been a bobcat. “Bobcat” had been the familiar name given to NYU’s Bobst Library computerized catalog.
114. Patch grower : PEA
Apparently the term “pea patch” is mainly used in the expression “tearing up the pea patch” meaning “going on a rampage”, although I’ve never heard of it outside of crosswords. The expression arose in the American South in the days when it was common to see small pea patches, plots for the growing of black-eyed peas in particular. If a stray dog or cow got through a fence and started “tearing up the pea patch”, it would be on a rampage.