Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers are all common two-word phrases, but with a third word inserted in the middle:
- 19A. Doppelgänger cast for a low-budget remake of “Ocean’s 11”? : ECONOMY RAT PACK (“economy pack” + “rat”)
- 23A. Usual night in the old town? : STANDARD HOT TIME (“standard time” + “hot”)
- 42A. Quality marsh output? : PREMIUM SWAMP GAS (“premium gas” + “swamp”)
- 48A. Gold dust lid cover? : LUXURY EYELINER (“luxury liner” + “eye”)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. “L’Arlésienne” composer : BIZET
“L’Arlésienne” is the name given to two orchestral suites composed by Georges Bizet. The pieces were written as incidental music for the play “L’Arlésienne” by Alphonse Daudet. The name “L’Arlésienne” is usually translated from French as “The Girl from Arles”.
14. Facetious agreement : AHSO
The slang term “ahso” is used in American English to mean “I see”. The term derives from the Japanese expression “Ah so desu ka” meaning “Oh, that’s how it is”.
16. Parson’s home : MANSE
A manse is a minister’s home in various Christian traditions. “Manse” derives from “mansus”, the Latin for “dwelling”. The term can also be used for any stately residence.
19. Doppelgänger cast for a low-budget remake of “Ocean’s 11”? : ECONOMY RAT PACK (“economy pack” + “rat”)
The original Rat Pack from the fifties was a group of actors that centered on Humphrey Bogart, and included a young Frank Sinatra. Supposedly, Bogart’s wife, Lauren Bacall, christened them the Rat Pack after seeing them all return from one of their nights on the town in Las Vegas. The sixties Rat Pack was a reincarnation of the fifties version, with the core group of actors being Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin (Dino), Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford.
“Ocean’s 11” is a great film from 1960, starring Frank Sinatra as Danny Ocean. The original storyline is updated for the excellent 2001 remake, with George Clooney playing the lead. In the 1960 movie, the love interest is a character called Beatrice Ocean, played by Angie Dickinson. In the 2001 version, the love interest gets a new name, Tess Ocean, and is played by Julia Roberts. The 2001 remake (titled “Ocean’s Eleven”, note the spelling) spawned two sequels: “Ocean’s Twelve” in 2004 and “Ocean’s Thirteen” in 2007.
A doppelgänger is a ghostly double of a living person. The literal translation of the German word “Doppelgänger” is double (Doppel) walker (Gänger).
21. Speck in la mer : ILE
In French, one might go to an “île” (island) in the middle of “la mer” (the sea).
32. Entomological case study? : COCOON
Entomology is the branch of zoology concerned with the study of insects. The etymology(!) of “entomology” is the Greek “entomon” (meaning “insect”) and “logia” (meaning “study of”). In turn, the Greek word “entomos” for insect is literal translation into Greek of “having a notch or cut”, in deference to the observation by Aristotle that insects have segmented bodies.
33. Repeated number of curls, say : REP
That would be in the gym.
34. Bust gp. : DEA
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
36. Fanny pack spot : HIP
In the British Isles, a “fanny pack” is called a “bum bag”. The use of the word “bum” is considered more polite than the word “fanny”, which has a very rude meaning in that part of the world.
37. Backing strips : LATHS
The words “lath” and “lattice” have the same root in Old French. Laths are thin strips of wood that are nailed across a frame forming a backing to which plaster can be applied to finish a wall. The term is also used for the main elements in a trellis, or the lengths of wood in a roof to which shingles are nailed.
39. Liszt’s “__ Préludes” : LES
Franz Liszt (1811-1886) was a Hungarian composer and a fabulous pianist. Particularly towards the end of his life, Liszt gained a tremendous reputation as a teacher. While he was in his sixties, his teaching profession demanded that he commute regularly between the cities of Rome, Weimar and Budapest. It is quite remarkable that a man of such advanced age, and in the 1870s, could do so much annual travel. It is estimated that Liszt journeyed at least 4,000 miles every year!
40. Fish house freebie : BIB
The word “bib” comes from the Latin “bibere” meaning “to drink”, as does our word “imbibe”. So, maybe it’s less about spilling the food, and more about soaking up the booze …
42. Quality marsh output? : PREMIUM SWAMP GAS (“premium gas” + “swamp”)
The difference between a premium and regular gasoline is its octane rating. The octane rating is measure of the resistance of the gasoline to auto-ignition i.e. its resistance to ignition just by virtue of being compressed in the cylinder. This auto-ignition is undesirable as multiple-cylinder engines are designed so that ignition within each cylinder takes place precisely when the plug sparks, and not before. If ignition occurs before the spark is created, the resulting phenomenon is called “knocking”. We sometimes use the adjective “high-octane” to mean “intense, dynamic, high-powered”
46. Mayo is in it : ANO
In Spanish, “mayo” (May) is one of the months of the “año” (year).
48. Gold dust lid cover? : LUXURY EYELINER (“luxury liner” + “eye”)
Eyeliner has been used for a long time. There is evidence that the Ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamians used a dark black line around the eyes to protect the skin from the sun as early as 10,000 BCE.
56. Theo van Gogh, notably : ART DEALER
Theo van Gogh was the younger brother of painter Vincent van Gogh, and a successful art dealer. Theo provided financial support for his brother throughout his life, allowing Vincent to pursue his passion for creating art. Vincent and Theo died about six months apart. The former committed suicide and the later died from the effects of syphilis.
57. Orange variety : NAVEL
Navel oranges are the ones with the small second fruit that grows at the base, at the “navel”. The navel orange has been traced back to a single mutation that took place in an orange tree in Brazil many years ago. The mutation also rendered the fruit seedless and hence sterile, so it is propagated using grafts.
59. Couth he is not : OGRE
Our use of the word “couth” to mean “refined, sophisticated” is one of those back-formations, coming from the word “uncouth” meaning “lacking in polish and grace”.
60. Khartoum’s waters : NILE
Khartoum is the capital city of Sudan, and is located at the point where the Blue Nile and White Nile meet.
64. Place to take a dip? : SALSA
“Salsa” is simply the Spanish for “sauce”.
2. “Dies __” : IRAE
“Dies Irae” is Latin for “Day of Wrath”. It is the name of a famous melody in Gregorian Chant, one that is often used as part of the Roman Catholic Requiem Mass.
3. #30 on a table : ZINC
Zinc is the chemical element with the atomic number 30 and the element symbol “Zn”. Zinc is a metal that can form pointed crystals after smelting. It is probably these crystals that gave the element its name, which comes from the Old High German “zint” meaning “point”.
4. Canadian pump name : ESSO
The brand name Esso has its roots in the old Standard Oil company as it uses the initial letters of “Standard” and “Oil” (ESS-O). The Esso brand was replaced by Exxon in the US, but ESSO is still used in many other countries.
5. “People” person, perhaps : TEEN IDOL
There used to be a “People” page in each issue of “Time” magazine. This page was spun-off in 1974 as a publication of its own, which we now call “People” magazine. “People” is noted for its annual special editions with features such as “Best & Worst Dressed” and “Sexiest Man Alive”. The “Sexiest Man Alive” edition now appears at the end of November each year. The first choice for “Sexiest Man” was Mel Gibson, in 1985.
6. Cain was one : FARMER
The story of Cain and Abel not only appears in the Christian and Hebrew Bibles, it also features in the Qur’an. In the Muslim account the brothers are named Qabil and Habil.
7. Cry to a mate : AHOY!
“Ahoy!” is a nautical term used to signal a vessel. When the telephone was invented by Alexander Graham Bell, he suggested that “ahoy” be used as a standard greeting when answering a call. However, Thomas Edison came up with “hello”, and we’ve been using that ever since.
8. Ruler that doesn’t work anymore : TSAR
The last ruler of Imperial Russia was Tsar Nicholas II (of the House of Romanov). Famously, the Tsar and his family were murdered in 1918 in the basement of a house in Yekaterinburg, Russia by members of the Bolshevik secret police. The Tsar’s youngest daughter was 16-year-old Anastasia and rumors of her escape have persisted for years. The rumors grew with the help of numerous women who claimed to be Anastasia. In 2009, DNA testing finally proved that the remains of all of the Tsar’s immediate family, including Anastasia, have been found and identified.
11. Group with many barrels : OPEC
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was founded in 1960 at a conference held in Baghdad, Iraq that was attended by Iraq, Kuwait, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Nine more countries joined the alliance soon after, and OPEC set up headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and then Vienna, Austria in 1965. The basic aim of OPEC was to wrench control of oil prices from the oil companies and to put it in the hands of the sovereign states that own the natural resource.
The volume of one oil barrel is equivalent to 42 US gallons. A barrel is correctly abbreviated to “bbl”. Barrels aren’t really used for transporting crude oil anymore. Instead, oil moves in bulk through pipelines and in tankers. “Barrel” is just used as a unit of volume these days.
18. Editorial override : STET
“Stet” is a Latin word meaning “let it stand”. In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word “stet” and then underscoring that change with a line of dots or dashes.
20. Buck heroine : O-LAN
Pearl S. Buck’s novel “The Good Earth” won a Pulitzer in 1932, and helped Buck win the Nobel Prize for literature a few years later. The novel tells of life in a Chinese village and follows the fortunes of Wang Lung and his wife O-Lan. Although “The Good Earth” has been around for decades, it hit the bestseller list again in 2004 when it was a pick for Oprah’s Book Club.
26. Cambodia’s Lon __ : NOL
Lon Nol was a soldier and politician in Cambodia, later serving twice as the country’s president. When the Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia in 1975, Nol escaped the country to Indonesia. He eventually found a home in Fullerton, California, where he died in 1985.
27. Bits : DRIBS
A “drib” is a negligible amount, as in “dribs and drabs”.
28. In like an old cat? : 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.
30. Maestro Zubin : MEHTA
Zubin Mehta is an Indian conductor of western classical music, from Mumbai. Mehta studied music in Vienna, where he made his conducting debut in 1958. In 1961 he was named assistant director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, creating a fuss with the music director designate of the orchestra, Georg Solti. Solti resigned as a protest, and Mehta took his job. In 1978 Mehta took over as Music Director and Principal Conductor of the New York Philharmonic, eventually becoming the longest holder of that position.
37. Non-suicidal migrants, contrary to myth : LEMMINGS
Lemmings are small rodents that live in cold climates, usually in or around the Arctic. There is a misconception that lemmings are prone to commit mass suicide. What is true is that like many animal species, lemmings are prone to mass migration, especially when the population in one area gets too great. Lemmings can swim, and will jump into a body of water in order to cross it. However, some lemmings may drown in the attempt. So, the lemmings jump en masse into a body of water to cross it, not to commit suicide. Then there was the famous Disney “White Wilderness” incident. Disney shot footage of lemmings “committing mass suicide” for the 1958 film “White Wilderness”. In fact, the lemmings in the morbid scene were flown to the location of the shoot, and were launched off a cliff using a turntable. Despicable …
38. Heidi got high on one : ALP
“Heidi” is a Swiss children’s book written by Johanna Spyri and published in two parts. The first is “Heidi’s years of learning and travel”, and the second “Heidi makes use of what she has learned”. The books tell the story of a young girl in the care of her grandfather in the Swiss Alps. The most famous film adaptation of the story is the 1937 movie of the same name starring Shirley Temple in the title role.
41. Julia of film : RAUL
Raúl Juliá was a Hollywood actor from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Julia had a very distinguished career, but is perhaps best known for portraying Gomez Addams in the two film adaptations of “The Addams Family”.
43. “All in the Family” spin-off : MAUDE
The seventies sitcom “Maude” stars Bea Arthur as the title character Maude Findlay. “Maude” is a spin-off of “All in the Family”, as Findlay is a cousin of Edith Bunker.
“All in the Family” is an American sitcom, a remake of the incredibly successful BBC show called “Till Death Us Do Part”. Both the UK and US versions of the sitcom were groundbreaking in that the storyline brought into focus topics previously considered unsuitable for a television comedy, including racism, homosexuality, women’s liberation, menopause and impotence. “All in the Family” is one of only three TV shows that has topped the Nielsen ratings for five consecutive seasons (the other two are “The Cosby Show” and “American Idol”). Stars of the show are:
- Carroll O’Connor as Archie Bunker
- Jean Stapleton as Edith Bunker
- Sally Struthers as Gloria Stivic née Bunker
- Rob Reiner as Michael Stivic
45. Waldo forerunner? : WHERE’S …
The reference is to the series of children’s illustrated books called “Where’s Waldo?”, originally titled “Where’s Wally?” in Britain where the books originated. The book contains page after page of illustrations with crowds of people surrounding famous landmarks from around the world. The challenge is to find Waldo/Wally, who is hidden in the crowd.
48. Cambodia neighbor : LAOS
The official name for the country of Laos is the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. In the Lao language, the country’s name is “Meuang Lao”. The French ruled Laos as part of French Indochina, having united three separate Lao kingdoms. As there was a plural of “Lao” entities united into one, the French added the “S” and so today we tend to use “Laos” instead of “Lao”.
The Kingdom of Cambodia is located in the Indochina Peninsula of Southeast Asia, and is bordered by Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and the Gulf of Thailand. “Cambodia” is the English version of the country’s name, which in Khmer is “Kampuchea”.
51. Lamb’s alias : ELIA
Charles Lamb published a famous collection of essays simply entitled “Essays of Elia”. Elia was actually a clerk and co-worker of Charles Lamb, whereas Lamb was the author.
53. Simba’s love : NALA
In “The Lion King”, Nala is a lioness and the childhood friend of Simba. By the end of the story, Nala and Simba become wedded. “The Lion King” is inspired by William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, with Simba representing the title character, and Nala representing Hamlet’s love interest Ophelia.
55. Cabs, say : REDS
The Cabernet Sauvignon grape has been around since the 17th century, and is the result of a chance crossing in southwestern France of the Cabernet franc and Sauvignon blanc grapes.