Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers are all in the down-direction. To read the complete answer, we have to use the letters ARM that are to one side of that answer in the grid:
- 65A. Like some baseball pitches … and a hint to locating the second part of four three-part puzzle answers : SIDEARM
- 8D. The Eagle, for one : LUN(AR M)ODULE
- 15D. McDonald’s offering for tight budgets : DOLL(AR M)ENU
- 35D. Post office standard : REGUL(AR M)AIL
- 37D. Syrup source : SUG(AR M)APLE
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
17. Shutterbug : SHOOTER
A shutterbug is an enthusiastic amateur photographer, someone who likes to hear the click of that shutter, someone like me …
18. Fireplace fixture : ANDIRON
Andirons (also “firedogs”) are those horizontal bars on which you rest logs to burn in an open fireplace. They usually come in pairs and can be quite decorative, and are often made out of wrought iron.
19. Like a vertebral region : LUMBAR
The human spine comprises five regions of vertebrae, which are (starting at the neck):
- Cervical (C1 – C7)
- Thoracic (T1 – T12)
- Lumbar (L1 – L5)
- Sacral (S1 – S5)
- Coccyx (also known as the tailbone)
22. Biblical songs : PSALMS
The Greek word “psalmoi” originally meant “songs sung to a harp”, and gave us the word “psalms”. In the Jewish and Western Christian traditions, the Book of Psalms contains 150 individual psalms, divided into five sections.
25. Splotchy garment : SMOCK
A smock is an outer garment that is often worn as protection for one’s clothing. Today, the term often applies to the protective garment worn by a painter.
28. Calendar abbr. : APR
The exact etymology of “April”, the fourth month of our year, seems to be uncertain. The ancient Romans called it “mensis Aprilis”, which roughly translated as “opening month. The suggestion is that April is the month in which fruits, flowers and animals “open” their life cycles.
35. U.K. fliers : RAF
The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the oldest independent air force in the world (i.e. the first air force to become independent of army or navy forces). The RAF was formed during WWI on 1 April 1918, a composite of two earlier forces, the Royal Flying Corps (part of the Army) and the Royal Naval Air Service. The RAF’s “finest hour” has to be the Battle of Britain when the vastly outnumbered British fighters fought off the might of the Luftwaffe causing Hitler to delay his plan to cross the English Channel. This outcome prompted Winston Churchill to utter the memorable words
Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.
47. Singer/songwriter Carly __ Jepsen : RAE
Carly Rae Jepsen is a singer/songwriter from Mission, British Columbia. Jepsen got her start on TV’s “Canadian Idol” when she placed third in the show’s fifth season.
52. Hook’s right hand : SMEE
In J. M. Barrie’s play and novel about Peter Pan, Smee is one of Captain Hook’s pirates and is Hook’s right-hand man. Smee is described by Barrie as being “Irish” and “a man who stabbed without offence”. Nice guy! Captain Hook and Smee sail on the pirate ship called the Jolly Roger.
Captain Hook is the bad guy in “Peter Pan”, the famous play by J. M. Barrie. Hook is Peter Pan’s sworn enemy, as Pan cut off Hook’s hand causing it to be replaced by a “hook”. It is implied in the play that Hook attended Eton College, just outside London. Hook’s last words are “Floreat Etona”, which is Eton College’s motto. Barrie openly acknowledged that the Hook character was based on Herman Melville’s Captain Ahab from the novel “Moby Dick”.
57. Seven-piece Chinese puzzle : TANGRAM
A tangram is a flat puzzle consisting of seven different shapes that must be arranged to form specific shapes. The game was invented in China, and the name for the puzzle in Chinese translates as “seven boards of skill”. The seven shapes are called “tans” hence the “tangram” name used in English.
64. Shakespearean merchant : ANTONIO
In William Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice”, Portia is the formidable heroine who takes on the guise of a male lawyer and calls herself “Balthasar”. Portia does this to save the life of Antonio, the play’s title character. Portia makes a famous speech that gives us the oft-quoted phrase, “the quality of mercy” …
The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes…
66. Unified whole : GESTALT
Gestalt is a German word meaning “shape”. The principles of gestaltism were developed in Germany in the early 1900s. One of the main tenets is that “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts”.
68. Upsilon preceder : TAU
Upsilon is the 20th letter in the Greek alphabet, and the character that gives rise to the letter Y that we use in English.
Tau is the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet, the letter which gave rise to our Roman “T”. Both the letters tau (T) and chi (X) have long been symbolically associated with the cross.
1. Dash or Doubtfire : MRS
Mrs. Dash is a brand name of seasoning mixes. Just before the product first went to market in 1981, brand owner B&G Foods also considered the name “Mrs. Pinch”.
The 1993 comedy “Mrs. Doubtfire” is based on a 1987 novel called “Madame Doubtfire” by Anne Fine. The movie is set and was filmed in San Francisco. The title role is played by Robin Williams, who spent most of the movie dressed as the female Mrs. Doubtfire. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the movie won the Oscar for Best Makeup.
3. Number missing, in a way, from “4 = 16” : TWO
42 = 16
4. Ryan’s daughter : TATUM
Tatum O’Neal is the youngest actress to win a “competitive” Oscar. She won the Best Supporting Actress Award in 1974 when she was just 10 years old, for her role as Addie in “Paper Moon”. The youngest person to win an honorary Academy Award was Shirley Temple, who was only 5 years old when she was presented with an Oscar in 1934.
Actor Ryan O’Neal got his big break in the sixties on television. He appeared in the prime-time soap opera “Peyton Place”, opposite fellow newcomer Mia Farrow. Then in 1970 he landed a starring role in the hit movie “Love Story”, which established him in Hollywood. O’Neal was an amateur boxer before he turned to acting, and established a respectable record Golden Gloves competitions. These days, O’Neal has a recurring role on the TV show “Bones”, playing the title character’s father.
6. Energy food component : CARB
Only relatively small amounts of carbohydrate can be stored by the human body, but those stores are important. The actual storage molecule is a starch-like polysaccharide called glycogen, which is found mainly in the liver and muscles. Glycogen is a quick source of energy when required by the body. Most of the body’s energy is stored in the form of fat, a more compact substance that is mobilized less rapidly. Endurance athletes often eat meals high in carbohydrate (carbo-loading) a few hours before an event, so that their body’s glycogen is at optimum levels.
8. The Eagle, for one : LUN(AR M)ODULE
In the Apollo program, the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) was the vehicle that actually landed on the moon and returned the astronauts to the command module that was orbiting overhead. The third LEM built was named “Spider”, and it participated in the Apollo 9 mission which tested the functionality of the LEM design in space. The fourth LEM was called “Snoopy” and it flew around the moon in the Apollo 10 mission, the dress rehearsal for the upcoming moon landing. Apollo 11’s LEM was called “Eagle” and it brought Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to and from the moon’s surface. Another famous LEM was Apollo 13’s Aquarius. Although Aquarius never landed on the moon, it did serve as a “lifeboat” for the three astronauts after the explosive rupture of an oxygen canister in the Service Module.
9. PC screen type : LCD
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.
10. Lizard that can shed its tail : SKINK
Skinks are lizards with relatively small legs and without a pronounced neck. Most skink species have long tails that they can shed if it is grabbed by a predator. The tail can then be regenerated.
11. Pro’s opposite : TYRO
A tyro (also “tiro”) is a beginner or a novice. “Tyro” comes into English from Latin, in which “tiro” means “a recruit”.
12. Book after Joel : AMOS
Amos is one of the twelve minor prophets in the Hebrew Bible.
13. Actor Auberjonois : RENE
René Auberjonois is an American actor. Auberjonois’ most famous role on the big screen was Father Mulcahy in the movie “M*A*S*H”.
23. Athens rival : SPARTA
Sparta was a city-state in ancient Greece that was famous for her military might. Spartan children had a tough upbringing, and newborn babies were bathed in wine to see if the child was strong enough to survive. Every child was presented to a council of elders that decided if the baby was suitable for rearing. Those children deemed too puny were executed by tossing them into a chasm. We’ve been using the term “spartan” to describe something self-disciplined or austere since the 1600s.
27. “Downton Abbey” countess : CORA
In the incredibly successful period drama “Downton Abbey”, the patriarch of the family living at Downton is Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham or Lord Grantham. The character is played by Hugh Bonneville. Lord Grantham married American Cora Levinson (played by Elizabeth McGovern. Lord and Lady Grantham had three daughters, and no son. The lack of a male heir implied that the Grantham estate would pass to a male cousin, and out of the immediate family. The Grantham daughters are Lady Mary (played by Michelle Dockery), Lady Edith (played by Laura Carmichael) and Lady Sybil (played by Jessica Brown Findlay). Lady Sybil had the audacity to marry the family chauffeur, an Irish nationalist. The shame of it all …
37. Syrup source : SUG(AR M)APLE
The sugar maple is the state tree of New York, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin. It is also the primary source of maple syrup.
42. Georgetown cager : HOYA
The athletic teams of Georgetown University are known as the Hoyas. The name is derived from “Hoya Saxa”, a traditional cheer yelled out at Georgetown games as far back as 1893. The term is a mixture of Greek and Latin, with the Greek word “hoya” meaning “such” or “what”, and “saxa” translating from Latin as “rocks” or “small stones”. The cheer is usually rendered in English as “what rocks!”.
46. Critter in the same family as chipmunks and squirrels : MARMOT
Marmots are large ground squirrels. Included in the genus is the famous groundhog, but not the prairie dog.
50. Like Miss Muffet’s fare : CURDY
“Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet eating her curds and whey”, in the popular nursery rhyme. A tuffet is a low seat or a footstool, another word for a pouffe or a hassock. When milk curdles it separates into two parts, the solid curds and the liquid whey. Then “along came a spider and sat down beside her”.
54. Tolkien race : ENTS
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”.
56. Tableland : MESA
“What’s the difference between a butte and a mesa?” Both are hills with flat tops, but a mesa has a top that is wider than it is tall. A butte is a much narrower formation, taller than it is wide.
58. Genetic messenger : 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.
62. Top at the shore : BRA
The origin of the word “bikini”, a type of bathing suit, seems very uncertain. My favorite story is that it is named after the Bikini Atoll, site of American A-bomb tests in the forties and fifties. The name “bikini” was chosen for the swim-wear because of the “explosive” effect it had on men who saw a woman wearing the garment!
63. Outback runner : EMU
In Australia, the land outside of urban area is referred to as the outback or the bush. That said, I think that the term “outback” can also be used for the more remote parts of the bush.