Edited by: Rich Norris
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Each of today’s themed answers is a common phrase, but one or two words have been changed to a type of fish:
- 27. “Me, blab to flatfish? No way!” : I NEVER TOLD A SOLE (from “I never told a soul”)
- 46. “Take whichever one you want for your fish and chips”? : PICK A COD, ANY COD (from “pick a card, any card”)
- 54. Fish playing on keys? : PIANO TUNA (from “piano tuner”)
- 67. Fish on stage? : PLATFORM EEL (from “platform heel”)
- 81. “Stop imitating a pond fish”? : DON’T BE KOI (from “don’t be coy”)
- 88. Blue fish, maybe? : EMOTIONAL SHARK (from “emotional shock”)
- 106. Fish duo’s routine when something seems fishy? : GOOD CARP, BAD CARP (from “good cop, bad cop”)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Einstein equation word : MASS
In Albert Einstein’s famous equation E=mc^2, “E” stands for energy, “m” stands for mass, and “c” stands for the speed of light.
5. Urges to attack, with “on” : SICS
“Sic ’em” is an attack order given to a dog, instructing the animal to growl, bark or even bite. The term dates back to the 1830s, with “sic” being a variation of “seek”.
9. They may be tied around saddle horns : RIATAS
A riata is a lariat or a lasso. “Riata” comes from “reata”, the Spanish word for lasso.
15. Lhasa __ : APSO
The Lhasa apso breed of dog originated in Tibet and is named after “Lhasa” (the capital city) and “apso” (a Tibetan word meaning “bearded”). The Lhasa apso has been around since 800 BC and is one of the oldest breeds in the world, one very closely related to the ancestral wolf.
20. Workplace regulator: Abbr. : OSHA
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created in 1970 during the Nixon administration. OSHA regulates workplaces in the private sector and regulates just one government agency, namely the US Postal Service.
22. Surgeon general under Reagan : KOOP
C. Everett Koop was Surgeon General from 1982-89, appointed by President Reagan. Koop was a somewhat controversial character and one who brought the position of Surgeon General into the spotlight more than was historically the case. Partly this was due to his pro-life position, his anti-tobacco stance and the fact that AIDS became a prominent issue while he was in office.
23. First name in game shows : MERV
Merv Griffin was quite the entertainer, truly a mogul in the business. He started his career as a singer on the radio during the big band era. In the sixties he hosted his own talk show, and then famously developed such great game shows as “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune”.
24. “__, SpaghettiOs!”: Campbell’s slogan : UH-OH
SpaghettiOs were developed by the Campbell Soup Company in 1965. Campbell’s wanted a pasta dish that could be marketed as being more “kid-friendly” and “less messy for kids”.
27. “Me, blab to flatfish? No way!” : I NEVER TOLD A SOLE (from “I never told a soul”)
The group of flatfish known as soles take their name from “solea”, the Latin word for “sandal”. And, they kind of have that shape.
31. Spelling song : YMCA
“YMCA” was released in 1978 by Village People and has been adopted as an anthem by the gay community. The song was written by Victor Willis, a straight member of the mostly gay band, and he clarifies that the lyrics are extolling the virtues of the “YMCA” as a source of recreation for black urban youth. I think he might have been winking when he said that …
33. Relief, spelled out? : ROLAIDS
The Rolaids brand of antacid was invented in the late twenties. The “Rolaids” name came from the fact that original packing was a foil “roll”. The product has a tagline: Rolaids—that’s how you spell relief. That slogan dates back to a 1970s TV campaign:
How do you spell relief?
36. Mumbai hrs. : IST
Indian Standard Time (IST) is used right across India (and Sri Lanka), and is 5½ hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). IST seems to have more than its fair share of critics. Some complain about the use of a single time zone across such a vast country, creating some inconvenience for those inhabiting the extreme east and west of India. My own personal gripe used to be with the “half-hour” difference, when I used to work with colleagues in India. My ability to calculate differences in times is poor enough when adding or subtracting whole hours, never mind half-hours …
Mumbai is the most populous city in India, and the second most populous city in the world (after Shanghai). The name of the city was changed from Bombay to Mumbai in 1995.
39. NYSE valuation measure : P/E RATIO
The P/E (price-to-earnings) ratio of a stock is the stock’s price compared to the earnings of the company per share (EPS). The idea behind the P/E ratio is that a stock with a relatively low P/E is usually a good buy, an indicator that the stock price should rise on the strength of solid earnings.
42. Oscar __ Renta : DE LA
Oscar de la Renta is a fashion designer who really came to prominence in the sixties when his designs were worn by Jacqueline Kennedy.
43. Simile middle : … AS A …
A simile is a figure of speech in which a comparison is made between two things that are unalike. For example, a person might be described as “cute as a kitten” or as “busy as a bee”.
46. “Take whichever one you want for your fish and chips”? : PICK A COD, ANY COD (from “pick a card, any card”)
In the British Isles, the most common fish that is used in traditional “fish and chips” is Atlantic cod. Cod has been overfished all over the world, and is now considered to be an endangered species by many international bodies. Confrontations over fishing rights in the North Atlantic led to conflicts called “the Cod Wars” between Iceland and the UK in the 1950s and the 1970s, with fishing fleets being protected by naval vessels and even shots being fired.
52. Antioxidant food preservative : BHT
Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) is a food additive that is allowed in our food. BHT is an antioxidant.
56. French four-time Formula One champ Prost : ALAIN
Alain Prost is a retired racing driver from France who won the Formula One Drivers’ Championship on four occasions from 1985 to 1993.
63. Mercury’s Greek counterpart : HERMES
Hermes was the Greek god of transitions and boundaries, one who intercedes between mortals and the divine. The Roman equivalent to Hermes was the god Mercury.
66. Louis XIV, par exemple : ROI
Louis XIV is perhaps the most famous of the kings (“rois”) of France and was known as the Sun King (“le Roi Soleil”). Louis XIV was king from 1638 to 1715. That reign of over 72 years is the longest reign of any European monarch.
71. Telepathy, e.g. : ESP
Extrasensory perception (ESP)
74. Furtive graffiti guy : KILROY
The omnipresent doodle and graffiti “Kilroy was here” dates back to WWII, although the exact origins are in doubt. A similar character exists in other countries, with a different name. In Australia, “Foo was here” and in Britain “Chad was here”. It’s felt that Chad might have been the original, and he probably pre-dated the Second World War.
80. Dark crime films : NOIRS
The expression “film noir” has French origins, but only in that it was coined by a French critic in describing a style of Hollywood film. The term, meaning “black film” in French, was first used by Nino Frank in 1946. Film noir often applies to a movie with a melodramatic plot and a private eye or detective at its center. Good examples would be “The Big Sleep” and “D.O.A”.
81. “Stop imitating a pond fish”? : DON’T BE KOI (from “don’t be coy”)
Koi are also called Japanese carp. Koi have been bred for decorative purposes and there are now some very brightly colored examples found in Japanese water gardens.
85. Boater, for one : HAT
A boater is a straw hat often associated with boating, hence the name.
86. Decree : FIAT
A fiat is an arbitrary rule that is imposed, and is the Latin for “let it be done”.
93. Sights from the Gateway Arch : BARGES
The Gateway Arch in St. Louis is located on the banks of the Mississippi River, and is the tallest monument in the United States. It was designed by Eero Saarinen, with the help of structural engineer Hannskarl Bandel. They did their design work back in 1947, but construction wasn’t started until 1963. In 1980, a daredevil took it upon himself to parachute onto the top of the arch, intending to further jump from the apex of the arch and parachute to the ground. He hit the arch alright, and slid all the way down one of the arches to his death. No comment …
95. Petits __: garden peas : POIS
“Pois” is French for “peas”, and “petits pois” translates as “small peas”.
98. Food scrap : ORT
Orts are small scraps of food left after a meal. “Ort” comes from Middle English, and originally described scraps left by animals.
99. Bar food? : GRANOLA
The name “Granola” (and “Granula”) were trademarked back in the late 1800s for whole-grain foods that were crumbled and baked until crisp. Granola was created in Dansville, New York in 1894.
101. Great Smokies st. : TENN
The Great Smoky Mountains are a subrange of the Appalachians and are located in North Carolina and Tennessee. The “Smokies” lie almost entirely within the bounds of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is the most-visited national park in the whole country. The name “Smoky” is a reference to the natural fog often seen hanging over the range. The fog is actually a vapor made up of volatile organic compounds released by the vegetation covering the peaks.
103. Arles articles : UNES
Quite a few years ago now, I had the privilege of living just a short car-ride from the beautiful city of Arles in the South of France. Although Arles has a long and colorful history, the Romans had a prevailing influence over the city’s design. Arles has a spectacular Roman amphitheater, arch, circus as well as old walls that surround the center of the city. In more modern times, it was a place Vincent van Gogh often visited, and was where he painted many of his most famous works, including “Cafe Terrace at Night” and “Bedroom in Arles”.
105. Persia, now : IRAN
Before 1935, the country we know today as Iran was called Persia by the Western world. The official name of the country since the Iranian Revolution of 1979 is the “Islamic Republic of Iran”.
106. Fish duo’s routine when something seems fishy? : GOOD CARP, BAD CARP (from “good cop, bad cop”)
Carp are freshwater fish that are used as food around the world, although they aren’t very popular in North American kitchens. The ornamental fish that we know as goldfish and koi are all types of carp.
114. __ Baker, subject of “Thirteen Reasons Why” : HANNAH
“13 Reasons Why” (“Th1rteen R3asons Why” onscreen) is a Netflix TV drama that is based on the 2007 Jay Asher novel “Thirteen Reasons Why”. The show’s title is a reference to thirteen cassette tapes left by a high school student Hannah Baker who committed suicide, with the tapes detailing thirteen reasons why she ended her life.
119. Rte. 66 state : ARIZ
The famous old highway called Route 66 has largely been replaced by modern interstates. It ran from Chicago to Los Angeles, right through the heart of America, and so it was often called the “Main Street of America”. The road gained notoriety because of Nat King Cole’s song “(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66”, and also because of the sixties TV show called “Route 66”.
120. Pakistani language : URDU
Urdu is one of the two official languages of Pakistan (the other being English), and is one of 22 scheduled languages in India. Urdu partly developed from Persian and is written from right to left.
121. June 6, 1944 : D-DAY
The most famous D-Day in history was June 6, 1944, the date of the Normandy landings in WWII. The term “D-Day” is used by the military to designate the day on which a combat operations are to be launched, especially when the actual date has yet to be determined. What D stands for seems to have been lost in the mists of time although the tradition is that D just stands for “Day”. In fact, the French have a similar term, “Jour J” (Day J), with a similar meaning. We also use H-Hour to denote the hour the attack is to commence.
123. Monument Valley feature : MESA
The spectacular Monument Valley, with it’s magnificent sandstone buttes and mesas, lies within the bounds of the Navajo Nation Reservation near the Four Corners region in the Southwest. The valley has served as a backdrop in many Hollywood movies. I always remember it as the location where Forrest Gump decided to stop running back and forth across the country.
124. Tree hugger : MOSS
There is a traditionally-held belief that in the northern hemisphere there is a heavier growth of moss on the north-facing side of trees. The assumption is that the sun creates a drier environment on the south side of the tree, an environment that is less conducive to the growth of moss.
1. “La Bohème” soprano : MIMI
“La bohème” by Giacomo Puccini is the second most frequently performed opera in the US (after “Madama Butterfly”, also by Puccini). The lead female role in the piece is Mimì, a seamstress.
2. Yemen’s Gulf of __ : ADEN
The Gulf of Aden is the body of water that lies south of the Red Sea, and just north of the Horn of Africa.
6. Beatty/Hoffman flop : ISHTAR
I guess “Ishtar” did bomb and was a indeed a disaster, because I’ve never come across the title outside of crosswords. The film stars Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman as lounge singers working in Morocco! There’s a Cold War plot and, thank goodness, it’s a comedy. It’s so bad apparently, that it never even made it to DVD.
8. Humorist Mort : SAHL
Mort Sahl is a Canadian-born actor and comedian who moved to the US with his family when he was a child. Sahl became friends with John F. Kennedy. When Kennedy became president, Sahl wrote a lot of jokes for the President’s speeches, although he also told a lot of Kennedy jokes in his acts. After the President was assassinated in 1963, Sahl was intensely interested in finding out who was behind the crime and even got himself deputized as a member of one of the investigating teams. He was very outspoken against the results of the Warren Commission report on the assassination, and soon found himself out of favor with the public. It took a few years for him to make his comeback, but come back he did.
9. Go wild : RUN AMOK
The phrase “to run amok” (sometimes “to run amuck”) has been around since the 1670s and is derived from the Malay word for “attacking furiously”, “amuk”. The word “amok” was also used as a noun to describe Malay natives who were “frenzied”. Given Malaya’s troubled history, the natives probably had good reason for that frenzy …
15. Alphabetically first dog in the AKC’s Working Group : AKITA
The Akita breed of dog is named for its point of origin, the Akita Prefecture in Japan. When Helen Keller visited Japan in 1937, she asked for and was given an Akita breed of dog, with the name of Kamikaze-go. Sadly, the dog died within a year from distemper. The following year the Japanese government officially presented Keller with a replacement dog. Supposedly Keller’s dogs were the first members of the breed to be introduced into the US.
16. Grand Prix, e.g. : PONTIAC
General Motors (GM) introduced the Pontiac brand in 1926, naming the badge for the city where the cars were produced: Pontiac, Michigan. GM dropped the Pontiac brand in the aftermath of the government bailout of 2008, in a move to reduce costs.
28. __ penguin : EMPEROR
The Emperor Penguin is the largest species of penguin, weighing in at 49-99 pounds fully grown. The Emperor Penguin is known for the incredible journey taken by the adults during the breeding season in the Antarctic winter. Females lay an egg and then trek 30-70 miles from the breeding colony to the sea to feed, returning to feed their chicks.
30. Singer Morissette : ALANIS
Alanis Morissette is a Canadian singer-songwriter. After releasing two pop albums in Canada, in 1995 she recorded her first album to be distributed internationally. Called “Jagged Little Pill”, it is a collection of songs with more of a rock influence. The album was a huge success, the highest-selling album of the 1990s, and the highest-selling debut album by any artist at any time (selling over 30 million units).
34. King Harald’s father : OLAV
Olav V was King of Norway from 1957 until 1991. Tremendously popular and down-to-earth, Olav V was known as “the People’s King” (“Folkekongen” in Norwegian). He was also a grandchild of Edward VII, who was on the British throne from 1901 to 1910.
King Harald V ascended to the throne of Norway in 1991 when his father King Olav V passed away. The European Royal houses are famously quite “incestuous”, so King Harald V of Norway is in the line of succession for the throne of England (albeit around no. 60).
37. Florida tribe : SEMINOLE
The Seminole people originally came from what is know called Florida. Increasing migration of European Americans into Seminole lands led to the three Seminole Wars, the first starting in 1818, the last ending in 1858. The basic outcome of the wars was the relocation of the vast majority of Seminoles to reservations in Oklahoma.
41. Weymouth of Talking Heads : TINA
Tina Weymouth is one of the founding members of the group called Talking Heads. Talking Heads was a New Wave band from New York City, formed in 1974 and active until 1991. I couldn’t name one of their songs, to be honest …
51. Fabric from Iraq : MUSLIN
Muslin is a cotton fabric that was first encountered by Europeans in Mosul, Iraq. The city of Mosul loaned its name to the fabric. Despite the name, muslin actually originated in and around Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh.
55. Toll rd. : TNPK
Back in the 15th century, a turnpike was a defensive barrier across a road. By the 17th century the term was used for a barrier that stopped travelers until a toll was paid. By the 18th century a turnpike was the name given to a road with a toll.
56. Ship-to-ship greetings : AHOYS
“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.
59. Last Sunday, this Sunday : A WEEK AGO
We have seven days in a week because there are seven classical planets in the Solar System. The days were named for the planets during the Roman era:
- Sun (Sunday)
- Moon (Monday)
- Mars (Tuesday)
- Mercury (Wednesday)
- Jupiter (Thursday)
- Venus (Friday)
- Saturn (Saturday)
60. Credit card introduced by Sears : DISCOVER
Sears introduced the Discover Card in 1985. The Discover Card brought with it some innovative features for the period, such as no annual fee and a higher-than-normal credit limit. As other credit card companies adopted those ideas, Discover Card later introduced cash-back bonuses on purchases.
68. Big Island greetings : ALOHAS
The largest island in the state of Hawaii is named Hawaii, and nicknamed “the Big Island”. Of the Hawaiian islands that I’ve had the pleasure to visit, the Big Island is definitely my favorite.
81. Scuttlebutt : DIRT
Just as modern day office workers gather around the water cooler to gossip, on board a ship back in the early 1800s the sailors would gather around the water barrel on the deck to shoot the breeze. That water barrel was called a “scuttlebutt”, from “scuttle” (opening in a ship’s deck) and “butt” (barrel). Quite interesting …
82. Kentucky __, event before the Derby : OAKS
The Kentucky Oaks is a race that is held on the Friday before the Kentucky Derby. Both races are limited to three-year-old Thoroughbreds, but the Oaks is limited to fillies.
84. __-Aid : KOOL
The drink we know today as Kool-Aid was invented by Edward Perkins and his wife, in Perkins’ mother’s kitchen in southwest Nebraska. Kool-Aid is now the Official Soft Drink of the state.
86. Flora partner : FAUNA
The fauna is the animal life of a particular region, and the flora is that region’s plant life. The term “fauna” comes from the Roman goddess of earth and fertility who was called Fauna. Flora was the Roman goddess of plants, flowers and fertility.
88. Work unit : ERG
An erg is a unit of mechanical work or energy. It is a small unit, as there are 10 million ergs in one joule. it has been suggested that an erg is about the amount of energy required for a mosquito to take off. The term comes from “ergon”, the Greek word for work.
90. Oval-shaped instrument : OCARINA
An ocarina is an ancient wind-instrument that sounds like and is played like a flute. Usually an ocarina has an egg-shaped body with a number of finger holes cut into the material making up the instrument (usually ceramic). There is a tube protruding from the body through which one blows to make sounds. The air vibrates within the body of the instrument, and the pitch of the vibrations is changed by covering and uncovering the finger-holes. Ocarinas date back as far as 12,000 years ago when they were used both in China and Central America. The ocarina was brought to Italy in the 1800s where it became popular as a child’s toy, but also as a serious instrument. It was given the name “ocarina” as its shape resembles that of a goose, and “ocarina”is a diminutive word stemming from “oca”, the Italian word for “goose”.
91. __ Gorge, near Buffalo : NIAGARA
The Niagara Gorge runs about 7 miles downstream from the base of Niagara Falls, along the Canada-US border. The gorge was formed by the Niagara River, and during this formation, Niagara Falls has gradually receded upstream.
92. Big shots : HONCHOS
“Honcho” is a slang term for a leader or manager. The term comes to us from Japanese, in which language a “hancho” is a squad (han) leader (cho).
93. Windfall : BONANZA
A bonanza is a mine with a rich pocket of ore that can be exploited. “Bonanza” is the Spanish word for a rich lode, and we imported the term into English. “Bonanza” originally meant “fair weather at sea”, and from that came to mean “prosperity, good fortune”. Ultimately, “bonanza” comes from the Latin “bonus” meaning “good”.
97. Arrogance : HUBRIS
Hubris is arrogance or overbearing pride.
100. Stylish in dress : NATTY
A natty dresser is one who dresses smartly. The term may come from the Middle English “net” meaning “fine, elegant”, in which case it shares its etymology with the word “neat”.
104. Rugby formation : SCRUM
If you’ve ever seen a rugby match, you’ll recognize the “scrum”, where the players designated as “forwards” bind together and push against the forwards on the opposing team. It’s a way of restarting the game after various types of stoppages. Scrum is short for “scrummage”, which in itself is a variation of “scrimmage”. And “scrimmage” has its roots in the word “skirmish”. If you get the chance, take a look at the Matt Damon-Morgan Freeman movie called “Invictus”, directed by Clint Eastwood. It’s all about rugby in South Africa after Nelson Mandela came to power. A powerful film …
108. Reprimand, with “out” : REAM
I must admit that I find the slang term “to ream out”, with its meaning “to scold harshly”, to be quite distasteful. The usage of the word as a reprimand dates back to about 1950.
111. Great American Ball Park team : REDS
Great American Ball Park is named after Great American Insurance Group. It seems a pity to me that the name was chosen for a sponsor, as it is such a grand name for a field dedicated to America’s pastime. Oh, and it is home to the Cincinnati Reds baseball team.
114. Cleveland __, OH : HTS
Cleveland Heights is a city in Ohio, and a suburb of Cleveland.