Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers each comprise TWO GUARDS:
- 37A. Increase security twofold … and what 17-, 25-, 46- and 58-Across literally do : DOUBLE THE GUARDS
- 17A. Eastern seaboard, facetiously : RIGHT COAST (Right Guard & coast guard)
- 25A. Unlikely to run : COLOR SAFE (color guard & safeguard)
- 46A. Secret overseas cash stash site : SWISS BANK (Swiss Guard & bank guard)
- 58A. What Aladdin craved and Jasmine wanted to escape, in the Disney film : PALACE LIFE (palace guard & lifeguard)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
10. Peak in Thessaly : OSSA
Mount Ossa in Greece is located between Mt. Pelion in the south, and the famed Mt. Olympus in the north. Mount Ossa is also known as Kissavos.
The region of Greece known as Thessaly used to be called Aeolia, and appears in Homer’s “Odyssey” under that name.
14. Can. neighbor : USA
The world’s longest international borders are:
- Canada – United States:5,525 miles
- Russia – Kazakhstan: 4,254 miles
- Argentina – Chile: 3,293 miles
- China – Mongolia: 2,906 miles
- India – Bangladesh: 2,518 miles
15. City on the Liffey : DUBLIN
The city of Dublin, the capital of Ireland, is known as “Baile Átha Cliath” in Irish (“town of the hurdled ford”). The English name “Dublin” is an anglicized form of the older Irish name for the city “Dubh Linn”, meaning “black pool”.
The Liffey is the river flowing through Dublin, Ireland’s capital city. The Liffey is named for the plain through which it originally ran, called “Liphe” meaning “Life”.
16. Performs like Kanye : RAPS
Kanye West is a rap singer who was born in Atlanta and raised in Chicago. He also spent some time in Nanjing, China as a child, where his mother was teaching as part of an exchange program. West is married to reality star Kim Kardashian.
17. Eastern seaboard, facetiously : RIGHT COAST (Right Guard & coast guard)
Right Guard was the first aerosol antiperspirant, and was introduced in the early sixties.
19. Frantically : 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 …
31. Kitchen gadgets brand : OXO
The OXO line of kitchen utensils is designed to be ergonomically superior to the average kitchen too. The intended user of OXO products is someone who doesn’t have the normal range of motion or strength in the hands e.g. someone suffering from arthritis.
34. “More info later”: Abbr. : TBA
To be advised/announced (TBA)
41. Radical ’60s gp. : SDS
Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was an activist group in the sixties. The SDS organized the largest student strike in the history of the United States on 26 April 1968, with about a million students staying away from class that day. The “Students for a Democratic Society” name was revived in 2006 with the foundation of a new US-based student organization with left wing beliefs. Today’s SDS was founded by a pair of high school students from Greenwich Village, New York.
44. Tile container in Scrabble : BAG
The game of Scrabble has been produced in many international versions, and each of these editions has its own tile distribution to suit the local language. For example, in English we have two tiles worth ten points: one “Q” and one “Z”. If you play the game in French then there are five tiles worth ten points: one “K”, one “W”, one “X”, one “Y” and one “Z”.
46. Secret overseas cash stash site : SWISS BANK (Swiss Guard & bank guard)
Switzerland has a tradition of banking secrecy that dates back to the Middle Ages. All bank accounts are linked to individuals, just as they are in the rest of the world, but the identity of that individual is protected by laws of privacy. The protections afforded are similar to the confidentiality between a lawyer and a client. Bank secrecy can be overturned however, by a judge’s “lifting order”.
The Pontifical Swiss Guard is a small force of about 110 men responsible for the safety of the Pope. To join the Swiss Guard, a recruit must be a single male citizen of Switzerland who has completed basic training with the Swiss military. The commandant of the Guard suggested in 2009 that the force might be open for admission to female recruits one day, but that would be well in the future.
52. Japanese noodle : UDON
Udon noodles are made from wheat-flour and are very popular in Japanese cuisine like tempura.
53. Leg bone : TIBIA
The tibia is the shin bone, the larger of the two bones right below the knee. It is the strongest weight-bearing bone in the human body. “Tibia” is the Roman name for a Greek flute and it is thought that the shin bone was given the same name because flutes were often fashioned out of the shin bones of animals.
54. Midwestern city associated with steaks : OMAHA
Omaha Steaks is a company that sells meat and related products directly to end customers. Omaha steaks are shipped directly to purchasers in coolers packed with ice. The company was founded back in 1917 as a single butcher shop in Omaha.
58. What Aladdin craved and Jasmine wanted to escape, in the Disney film : PALACE LIFE (palace guard & lifeguard)
The Disney animated feature “Aladdin” was released in 1992 and is one of the best movies to come out of the studio, in my opinion, largely due to the great performance by Robin Williams who voiced the Genie. “Aladdin” was the most successful film of 1992, earning over $500 million worldwide, an unusual feat for an animated movie.
64. What’s for dinner : ENTREE
“Entrée” means “entry” in French. An entrée can be something that helps one get “a way in”, an interview for example perhaps helped along by a recommendation letter. In Europe, even in English-speaking countries, the entrée is the name for the “entry” to the meal, the first course. I found it very confusing to order meals when I first came to America!
67. Radical in aspirin and vinegar : ACETYL
The acetyl group (CH3) comprises one carbon atom with three hydrogen atoms.
Aspirin used to be a brand name for the drug acetylsalicylic acid. Aspirin was introduced by the German drug company Bayer AG in the late 1800s. As part of the war reparations paid by Germany after WWI, Bayer AG lost the use of the trademark “Aspirin” (as well as the trademark Heroin!) and it became a generic term.
Acetic acid has the formula CH3COOH, and is the main component of vinegar.
68. Spot on a peacock’s tail : EYE
The male peafowl is known as a peacock, and the female a peahen. The peafowl’s young are sometimes called peachicks.
1. Taylor Swift’s “__ Song” : OUR
“Our Song” is a number recorded by Taylor Swift in 2006. Swift wrote the song during her freshman year for a high school talent show.
2. Trident-shaped letter : PSI
Psi is 23rd letter in the Greek alphabet, and the one that looks a bit like a trident or a pitchfork.
4. 1999 Ron Howard satire : EDTV
“EDtv” is a comedy film directed by Ron Howard starring Matthew McConaughey that was released in 1999. The plot has a “Big Brother” feel to it, as it is about a TV show broadcasting someone’s life, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
5. Journalist Clare Boothe __ : LUCE
Author and politician Clare Boothe Luce was married to publisher Henry Luce. As a politician, Luce was a noted Republican. She entered the House of Representatives in 1942 as an outspoken critic of the policies President Franklin D. Roosevelt. After campaigning tirelessly for Dwight D Eisenhower in the 1952 presidential election, Luce was rewarded with the US Ambassadorship to Italy. She had to resign her post in 1956 when she became ill from lead poisoning (from the stucco ceiling in her bedroom). After Luce recovered, President Eisenhower nominated her US Ambassador to Portugal. However, her conservative views met with such resistance from Democrats that she resigned the post after only 4 days on the job, and without leaving the US.
7. “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.
9. MD treating canals : ENT
Ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT)
11. South Pacific island nation : SAMOA
The official name for the South Pacific nation formerly known as Western Samoa is the Independent State of Samoa. Samoa is the western part of the island group, with American Samoa lying to the southeast. The whole group of islands used to be known as Navigators Island, a name given by European explorers in recognition of the seafaring skills of the native Samoans.
12. “Blazing Saddles,” for one : SPOOF
“Blazing Saddles” is a 1974 Mel Brooks movie that has become a modern-day classic. I really only enjoy one Mel Brooks film, and “Blazing Saddles” isn’t it. Just in case you’re interested, I very much enjoy “Young Frankenstein” …
18. Après-ski amenities : HOT TUBS
“Après-ski” is a French term meaning “after skiing”. It refers to the good times to be had after coming off the slopes.
22. Herring prized for its roe : SHAD
The shad is also known as the river herring. The eggs (roe) of the female shad are prized as a delicacy in the Eastern US.
23. Long rides? : LIMOS
The word “limousine” derives from the French city of Limoges. The area around Limoges is called the Limousin, and it gave its name to a cloak hood worn by local shepherds. In early motor cars, a driver would sit outside in the weather while the passengers would sit in the covered compartment. The driver would often wear a limousin-style protective hood, giving rise to that type of transportation being called a “limousine”. Well, that’s how the story goes anyway …
27. Gas in a tank : OXYGEN
British clergyman Joseph Priestley is often given the credit for the discovery of oxygen, and he was indeed the first person to publish his 1774 findings, doing so in 1775. However, Swedish pharmacist Carl Wilhelm Scheele independently made the same discovery in 1773 or perhaps a year or two earlier. Scheele sent a manuscript describing his findings to his publisher in 1775, but that document was not printed until 1777. It was French chemist Antoine Laurent Lavoisier who gave the newly discovered element its name. Lavoisier mistakenly believed that oxygen was a vital constituent of all acids, and so in 1777 named the gas “oxygène”, from the Greek roots “oxys” meaning “acid, sharp” and “-genes” meaning “producer”.
29. Syst. with hand signals : ASL
It’s really quite unfortunate that American Sign Language (ASL) and British Sign Language (BSL) are very different, and someone who has learned to sign in one cannot understand someone signing in the other.
30. What a treater picks up : THE TAB
When we run a “tab” at a bar say, we are running a “tabulation”, a listing of what we owe. Such a use of “tab” is American slang that originated in the 1880s.
38. Garment worn in HBO’s “Rome” : TOGA
In Ancient Rome the classical attire known as a toga (plural “togae”) was usually worn over a tunic. The tunic was made from linen, and the toga itself was a piece of cloth about twenty feet long made from wool. The toga could only be worn by men, and only if those men were Roman citizens. The female equivalent of the toga was called a “stola”.
“Rome” is a TV series set in ancient Rome in during the transition from Republic to Empire in the 1st century BCE. The historical drama was a joint venture between the BBC (in the UK), HBO (in the US) and RAI (in Italy). Even though the storyline centered on the lives of two fictional Roman soldiers, the show was lauded for its historical authenticity.
39. 108-card game : UNO
In my youth I remember being taught a great card game, by a German acquaintance of mine, called Mau Mau. Years later I discovered that Uno is basically the same game, but played with a purpose-printed deck instead of the regular deck of playing cards that’s used for Mau Mau. I hear that Mau Mau is derived from the game called Crazy Eights.
44. Merit badge org. : BSA
As every little boy (of my era) knows, the Scouting movement was founded by Lord Baden Powell, in 1907. The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) soon followed, in 1910. And, the Boy Scouts motto is “Be Prepared”.
47. “My Ántonia” novelist Cather : WILLA
American novelist Willa Cather wrote what’s referred to as the “prairie trilogy”, books that tell the story of Swedish immigrants living in Nebraska. The titles in the trilogy are “O Pioneers!”, “The Song of the Lark” and “My Ántonia”. Cather won the Pulitzer Prize for another novel, “One of Ours”, that is set in Nebraska and the French battlefields of WWI.
48. “Hedda Gabler” playwright : IBSEN
“Hedda Gabler” is a play by the great Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen that was first published in 1890. Considered one of the greatest theater roles, the title character of Hedda Gabler is sometimes referred to as the female Hamlet.
50. Nick of “Hotel Rwanda” : NOLTE
The actor Nick Nolte got his big break playing opposite Jacqueline Bisset and Robert Shaw in “The Deep”, released in 1976. Prior to that, he had worked as a model. Nolte appeared in a magazine advertisement for Clairol in 1972 alongside fellow model and future actor Sigourney Weaver.
“Hotel Rwanda” is a very disturbing 2004 film that is based on a real account of events in 1994 in the Rwandan Genocide. “Hotel Rwanda” has been compared to “Schindler’s List” in that it tells of one man fighting to save as many people as he can from the genocide taking place in his country. Don Cheadle has the starring role.
51. Chain with a Smart Sense store brand : KMART
Kmart is the third largest discount store chain in the world, behind Wal-Mart and Target. The company was founded by S. S. Kresge in 1899, with the first outlets known as S. S. Kresge stores. The first “Kmart” stores opened in 1962. Kmart is famous for its promotions known as “blue light specials”, a program first introduced in 1965 and discontinued in 1991. I remember being in a Kmart store soon after coming to live in the US. That evening an employee installed a light stand an aisle away from me, switched on a flashing blue light and there was some unintelligible announcement over the loudspeaker system. I had no idea what was going on …
55. __-deucey : ACEY
Acey-deucey is a fast-played variant of backgammon. Apparently the game has been a favorite with members of the armed forces since the days of WWI.
59. Mandela’s org. : ANC
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.
60. 15-Across locale: Abbr. : IRE
(15A. City on the Liffey : DUBLIN)
The island of Ireland is politically divided between the the Republic of Ireland in the south and Northern Ireland in the north. Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom, and covers about one-sixth of the island.
61. 2000s “SNL” notable Tina : FEY
Comedian and actress Tina Fey was born Elizabeth Stamatina Fey in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. Fey is perhaps best known to television viewers as a cast member on “Saturday Night Live” (1997-2006), and as the creator and star of the sitcom “30 Rock” (2006-2013).