Edited by: Rich Norris
Quicklink to comments
Each of today’s themed answers comprises two words, both of which are often see OPENED by the word HOME:
- 60A. Game one for season ticket holders … or, literally, what each word in the answers to starred clues can have : HOME OPENER
- 17A. *Handyman’s forte : REPAIR WORK (giving “home repair” & “homework”)
- 22A. *Sports industry mogul : TEAM OWNER (giving “home team” & “homeowner”)
- 37A. *Frolic unrestrained : RUN FREE (giving “home run” & “home free”)
- 50A. *Where the biggest headlines are : FRONT PAGE (giving “home front” & “home page”)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
5. Heroic exploit : GEST
Our word “gest” meaning a great deed or an exploit has been around since about 1300, and comes from the Old French word “geste” meaning the same thing. These days “geste” can also mean “gesture”.
9. Donald Duck, to his nephews : UNCA
Donald Duck’s nephews are identical triplets called Huey, Dewey and Louie, and they first appeared on the screen in 1938. Once in awhile due to errors in production, a fourth duck can be seen in the background. This little “mistake” is affectionately called “Phooey Duck” by folks in the industry.
13. Prefix for an intoxicating weed : LOCO
“Locoweed” is the familiar name given to several plants that produce a toxin known as swainsonine. Locoweeds tend to be quite palatable to livestock, even though it is poisonous to the animal. As such, ingestion of locoweed is the most widespread poisonous plant problem in the nation.
14. “Republic” philosopher : PLATO
The greatest work of the Greek philosopher Plato is said by most to be his treatise called “The Republic”. The work takes the form of a Socratic dialogue, meaning that it features Plato’s teacher, Socrates, in dialogue with others discussing the subject matter. Much of the text deals with justice and various forms of government.
16. Part of NYSE: Abbr. : EXCH
The roots of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) go back to 1792 when a group of 24 stock brokers set up the New York Stock & Exchange Board. They did so in an agreement signed under a buttonwood tree outside 68 Wall Street. That document became known as the Buttonwood Agreement. Today, the NYSE is located in National Historic Landmark building with the address 11 Wall Street in Lower Manhattan, New York City.
20. __ about: circa : ON OR
“Circa” is a Latin word meaning “around, near, about the time of”. We use “circa” directly in English to mean “about the time of”, as well as in derivative words such as “circle” and “circus”.
22. *Sports industry mogul : TEAM OWNER
A “mogul” is a person with power. The term comes from the Mughal emperors of India and South Asia.
25. Youthful bar patrons are usually asked for them : IDS
I’m so old. I’ve never been asked for ID in a bar. That wasn’t done when I was young …
29. Whence chocolate : CACAO
The flowers of the cacao tree grow in clusters directly on the trunk, and on older branches. The pollinated flowers turn into ovoid cacao pods, each of which contain 20-60 seeds or beans. The seeds are used as the main ingredient in chocolate.
40. Mandela’s land: Abbr. : RSA
The Republic of South Africa (RSA)
As a young man, Nelson Mandela led the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC). Mandela was eventually arrested and admitted to charges of sabotage and was sentenced to life in prison in 1964. He remained behind bars for 27 years, mainly in the infamous prison on Robben Island. As the years progressed, Mandela became a symbol of the fight against apartheid. He was released in 1990, and immediately declared his commitment to peace and reconciliation with South Africa’s white minority population. Mandela was elected president of the Republic of South Africa (RSA) in 1994, an office that he held until 1999. Nelson Mandela passed away on December 5, 2013.
41. Old Italian coin : LIRA
The word “lira” is used in a number of countries for currency. “Lira” comes from the Latin for “pound” and is derived from a British pound sterling, the value of a Troy pound of silver. For example, the lira (plural “lire”) was the official currency of Italy before the country changed over to the euro in 2002.
43. Jazz singer James : ETTA
Etta James was best known for her beautiful rendition of the song “At Last”. Sadly, as she disclosed in her autobiography, James lived a life that was ravaged by drug addiction leading to numerous legal and health problems. Ms. James passed away in January 2012 having suffered from leukemia.
44. Arthritis detectors : X-RAYS
Arthritis is inflammation of one or more joints. There are many types of arthritis, the most common being osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis results in a breakdown of joint cartilage and bone, usually due to injury or inherited factors. Rheumatoid arthritis results in swollen and painful joints and is an autoimmune disorder, a condition arising from an abnormal immune response. The term “arthritis” ultimately comes from “arthron”, the Greek word for “joint”.
48. Soul automaker : KIA
The Kia Soul is a compact car produced in South Korea, although it was designed by Kia here in the US, in Irvine, California. Yep, the Kia Soul is made in Seoul …
49. Phys. or entom. : SCI
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.
58. Gambling city near Tahoe : RENO
The city of Reno’s economy took off when open gambling was legalized in Nevada in 1931. Within a short time, a syndicate had built the Bank Club in Reno, which was the largest casino in the world at the time.
Lake Tahoe (often referred to simply as “Tahoe”) is up in the Sierra Nevada mountains, right on the border between California and Nevada. Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in the country, and the largest lake in general, behind the five Great Lakes. It’s also the second deepest lake, with only the beautiful Crater Lake in Oregon being deeper. Given its location, there are tall casinos that sit right on the shore on the Nevada side of the state line where gambling is legal.
63. Algerian seaport : ORAN
Oran lies on the Algerian coast, and is famous for being the port where the French Navy was largely destroyed by the British during WWII in order to avoid the French vessels falling into the hands of Nazi Germany after France surrendered. This decisive and unexpected unilateral action by the British sent a very strong message around the world that Britain was willing to fight alone against the axis powers if necessary.
66. “… why __ thou forsaken me?”: Matthew : HAST
According to both the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Mark in the Christian Bible, Jesus uttered the words “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” while hanging on the cross. This phrase is the only one that appears in more than one of the four gospels.
2. 51-Down’s “Chicago” role : ROXIE
(51D. “Chicago” co-star Zellweger : RENEE)
The wonderful 1975 musical “Chicago” is based on a 1926 play of the same name written by a news reporter called Maurine Dallas Watkins. Watkins had been assigned to cover the murder trials of Beulah Annan and Belva Gaertner for the “Chicago Tribune”, and used the story that unfolded as the basis for her play. Annan became the character Roxie Hart, and Gaertner became Velma Kelly. I’ve only ever seen the movie version of “Chicago” and never a live performance …
3. Capital of Ghana : ACCRA
Accra sits on Ghana’s coast and is a major seaport as well as the country’s capital city. The name “Accra” comes from a local word “Nkran” meaning “ants”, a name chosen because of the large number of anthills found in the area when the city was founded.
4. Czech Republic region : BOHEMIA
The region known as Bohemia covers most of the Czech Republic. Centuries ago, it was wrongly believed that gypsies came from Bohemia, giving rise to the term “Bohemian” meaning a “gypsy of society”.
5. Mercury Seven astronaut John : GLENN
John Glenn was a Marine Corps pilot, astronaut and US Senator. As an astronaut, Glenn was the first American to orbit the earth, in 1962. He later became the oldest person to fly in space, in 1998 at the age of 77.
The Mercury Seven were the original NASA astronauts. Several members of the 7-man team actually flew on all the major NASA programs: Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and the Space Shuttle. The seven astronauts were:
- Alan Shepherd
- Gus Grissom
- John Glenn
- Scott Carpenter
- Wally Schirra
- Gordon Cooper
- Deke Slayton
6. How “The Raven” poet signed some of his letters : EA POE
“The Raven” is a narrative poem by Edgar Allan Poe that tells of a student who has lost the love of his life, Lenore. A raven enters the student’s bedchamber and perches on a bust of Pallas. The raven can talk, to the student’s surprise, but says nothing but the word “nevermore” (“quoth the raven, ‘Nevermore’”). As the student questions all aspects of his life, the raven taunts him with the same comment, “nevermore”. Finally the student decides that his soul is trapped beneath the raven’s shadow and shall be lifted “nevermore” …
7. Drummer Ringo : STARR
Ringo Starr’s real name is Richard Starkey. Before he joined the Beatles (replacing drummer Pete Best), Starkey played with the Raving Texans. It was with the Raving Texans that he adopted the name “Ringo Starr”, because he wore a lot of rings and he thought it sounded “cowboyish”. Back then his drum solos were billed as “Starr Time”.
10. Colorful aquarium fish : NEON TETRA
The neon tetra is a freshwater fish, native to parts of South America. The tetra is a very popular aquarium fish and millions are imported into the US every year. Almost all of the imported tetras are farm-raised in Asia and very few come from their native continent.
30. Tibet’s continent : ASIA
Tibet is a plateau region that is part of China, and is located northeast of the Himalayas. Tibet declared its independence from China in 1913, but fell back under Chinese control after the Invasion of Tibet in 1951. The Tibetan leader, the 14th Dalai Lama, fled the country during the 1959 Tibetan Rebellion. Since then, he has led the Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharamsala, India.
31. “Holiday Inn” holiday : CHRISTMAS
The 1942 classic movie “Holiday Inn” stars Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, and is noted for the song “White Christmas”. And yes, the movie is the inspiration for the name of the Holiday Inn chain of hotels.
32. Tolkien tree creature : ENT
Ents are those tree-like creatures that live in J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth in his series of books “The Lord of the Rings”. “Ent” is an Old English word for “giant”.
38. Driver’s one-eighty : UEY
Hang a “uey” or “uie”, make a u-turn, make a 180.
45. Hawks and eagles : RAPTORS
“Raptor” is a generic term for a bird of prey, one that has talons to grip its victims.
47. Stitch’s movie pal : LILO
“Lilo & Stitch” was released by Disney in 2002. Compared to other Disney feature-length cartoons, “Lilo & Stitch” was relatively cheaply produced, using the voices of lesser-known actors. One interesting change had to take place in the storyline during production, when Lilo was meant to fly a Jumbo Jet through downtown Honolulu in one sequence. This was replaced with a sequence using a spaceship instead, as the producers were sensitive to public sentiment after the September 11 attacks.
48. Big name in packaged soup : KNORR
When I was growing up in Ireland, we never saw Campbell’s soup on the shelves. It was basically all Knorr products, and dehydrated soup from a packet at that. How times have changed. Knorr is a German brand, now owned by the Anglo-Dutch Company Unilever.
51. “Chicago” co-star Zellweger : RENEE
Renée Zellweger’s big break came in the 1996 movie “Jerry Maguire”. A few years later, Zellweger followed that up with a string of successes in “Bridget Jones Diary” (2001), “Chicago” (2002) and “Cold Mountain” (2003). My wife and I love watching her play Bridget Jones, and as someone coming from the British Isles, I have to say that Zellweger does a remarkable job with the accent. She worked hard to perfect that accent, and of course she had a voice coach. She also went “undercover” and worked as a temp in an office for three weeks fine-tuning her skills.
52. Shaq of the NBA : O’NEAL
Retired basketball player Shaquille O’Neal now appears regularly as an analyst on the NBA TV show “Inside the NBA”. Shaq has quite a career in the entertainment world. His first rap album, called “Shaq Diesel”, went platinum. He also starred in two of his own reality show: “Shaq’s Big Challenge” and “Shaq Vs.”
53. Golf great with an “army” : ARNIE
Arnold Palmer was one of the greats of the world of golf. He was very popular with many fans of the game, and his followers were usually referred to as “Arnie’s Army”. Off the course, Palmer was an avid pilot, until his latter years. He resided in Latrobe, Pennsylvania for much of the year and the local airport is named in his honor: Arnold Palmer Regional Airport.
54. Mild Dutch cheese : GOUDA
Gouda is a cheese that originated in the Dutch city of the same name, although today Gouda is produced all over the world and very little of it comes from the Netherlands. Gouda is often smoke-cured, given it a yellowish-brown outer skin and that characteristic smoky taste.
55. Ford flop : 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”.
57. Romance novelist Roberts : NORA
Nora Roberts is a very successful author who has written over 165 romance novels. Roberts writes under a number of pen names: J.D. Robb, Jill March and Sarah Hardesty.
61. Adobe file format : PDF
Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format introduced by Adobe Systems in 1993. PDF documents can be shared between users and read using many different applications, making them more universally accessible than documents saved by one particular program.