Edited by: Rich Norris
Quicklink to a complete list of today’s clues and answers
Each of today’s themed answers is a common phrase in the format X AND Y. X is the family name of a celebrity, and Y is a food item with which that celebrity is shown in a theoretical photo:
- 20A. Photo caption for Condoleezza with a bowl of pintos? RICE AND BEANS
- 36A. Photo caption for Chris with a sandwich bun? ROCK AND ROLL
- 42A. Photo caption for NFL Hall of Famer Sam with a pastry shell? HUFF AND PUFF
- 58A. Photo caption for Kevin with his Easter basket? BACON AND EGGS
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1…”The Aviator” actor Alan..ALDA
Alan Alda has had a great television career, especially of course on “M*A*S*H”. Alda won his first Emmy in 1972, for playing Hawkeye Pierce on “M*A*S*H”. He won his most recent Emmy in 2006 for his portrayal of Presidential candidate Arnold Vinick in “The West Wing”. When it comes to the big screen, my favorite of Alda’s movies is the 1978 romantic comedy “Same Time, Next Year” in which he starred opposite Ellen Burstyn.
“The Aviator” is a great film from 2004, a biographical piece about much of the life of aviation pioneer Howard Hughes. Leonardo DiCaprio plays the title role, with Cate Blanchett playing a very credible Katharine Hepburn, Hughes’ lover with whom he lived for quite some time. Blanchett won a very much deserved Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her performance. Alan Alda received an Oscar nomination as a supporting actor, playing Senator Owen Brewster, a thorn in the side for Howard Hughes.
9…Charge the quarterback..BLITZ
The maneuver in American football known as “the blitz” is an attempt by more players than usual to tackle the quarterback. The move was supposedly first used in 1957 by the San Francisco 49ers. Back in the early sixties, blitzes were called “Red Dogs”, a term coined by 49er announcer Bob Fouts after his Irish Setter pet dog.
“Blitz”, as it is used in English means a fast-moving and overwhelming attack. The term is a shortened version of the German word “blitzkrieg”. The blitzkrieg was a tactic used by the Germans running up to and during WWII. In the original German blitzkrieg, the army and air-force threw everything into a rapid penetration of enemy lines without stopping to reinforce its flanks. The word “blitz” means “lightning” (and “krieg” means “war”).
“Raja” (also “rajah”) is word derived from Sanskrit that is used particularly in India for a monarch or princely ruler. The female form is “rani” (also “ranee”) and is used for a raja’s wife.
20…Photo caption for Condoleezza with a bowl of pintos?..RICE AND BEANS
Condoleezza “Condi” Rice was the second African American to serve as US Secretary of State (after Colin Powell) and the second woman to hold the office (after Madeleine Albright). Prior to becoming Secretary of State in President George W. Bush’s administration, Rice was the first woman to hold the office of National Security Advisor. In private life, Rice is a remarkably capable pianist. Given her stature in Washington, Rice has had the opportunity to play piano in public with the likes of cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and soul singer Aretha Franklin.
Pinto beans are so-called because their skins have a mottled (“pinto”) appearance.
Neptune was the Roman god of the sea and of freshwater. He was sometimes known as “Neptunus Equester” as he was also the god of horses and patron of horse-racing.
Pita is a lovely bread in Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. Pita is usually round, and has a “pocket” in the center. The pocket is created by steam that puffs up the dough during cooking leaving a void when the bread cools.
36…Photo caption for Chris with a sandwich bun?..ROCK AND ROLL
Chris Rock is a great stand-up comedian. Interestingly, Rock cites his paternal grandfather as an influence on his performing style. Grandfather Allen Rock was a preacher.
42…Photo caption for NFL Hall of Famer Sam with a pastry shell?..HUFF AND PUFF
Sam Huff is a former NFL linebacker who played for the New York Giants and the Washington Redskins. Huff is big into horse racing and breeds winning thoroughbreds.
Zeno of Citium was a Greek philosopher famous for teaching at the Stoa Poikile, the “Painted Porch”, located on the north side of the Ancient Agora of Athens. Because of the location of his classes, his philosophy became known as stoicism (from “stoa”, the word for “porch”). And yes, we get our adjective “stoic” from the same root.
Han Solo is the space smuggler in “Star Wars” played by Harrison Ford. Ford was originally hired by George Lucas just to read lines for actors during auditions for “Star Wars”, but over time Lucas became convinced that Ford was right for the pivotal role of Han Solo.
Wookiees are a biped race featured in “Star Wars”, the most notable being Chewbacca, the loyal friend and associate of Han Solo.
52…Like many a morning coffee: Abbr…REG
58…Photo caption for Kevin with his Easter basket?..BACON AND EGGS
Kevin Bacon is an actor from Philadelphia who appeared first on the big screen in the 1978 comedy “National Lampoon’s Animal House”. That wasn’t to be the big break that Bacon needed though, which came with “Footloose” in 1984. A fun fact about him is that he is the subject of a popular trivia game called “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” in which players have to show that a particular actor can be related to Kevin Bacon in fewer than six links, with each link being a movie in which two actors appear together.
A carat is a unit of mass used in measuring gemstones that is equal to 200 mg.
64…Fat used in baking..LARD
Fat, when extracted from the carcass of an animal, is called “suet”. Untreated suet decomposes at room temperature quite easily so it has to be “rendered” or purified to make it stable. Rendered fat from pigs is what we call “lard”. Rendered beef or mutton fat is known as “tallow”.
65…Bellini’s “Casta diva,” e.g…ARIA
“Norma” is an opera written by Vincenzo Bellini, first performed in 1831. One aria from the work is “Casta diva”, which is one of the most popular arias of the 1800s.
The origin of the word “scads”, meaning “lots and lots”, is unclear, although back in the mid-1800s “scads” was used to mean “dollars”.
“Sainte” (ste.) is French for “saint”, when referring to a female.
The act of creating a saint is known as “canonization”. The term derives from the process of placing someone in the canon (or “calendar”) of saints.
In early Greece the “agora” was a place of assembly. Often the assemblies held there were quite formal, perhaps for the reading of a proclamation. Later in Greek history, things became less formal as the agora evolved into a market place. Our contemporary word “agoraphobia” comes from these agorae, in the sense that an agoraphobe has a fear of open spaces, a fear of “public meeting places”.
Louis Armstrong was born in New Orleans in 1900. Armstrong had a poor upbringing, and only stayed in school till he was 11 years old. The exact origin of Louis’s nickname “Satchmo” seems to be a little unclear. One story is that he used to dance for pennies in New Orleans as a youngster and would hide those pennies in his mouth away from the other kids. For this he earned the nickname “satchel mouth”, which was shortened to “Satchmo”.
3…Spinal column components..DISCS
Our intervertebral discs are composed mainly of cartilage. They perform the crucial functions of separating the vertebrae while allowing slight movement, and also absorbing shock. A “slipped disc” isn’t really a disc that has “slipped”, but rather a disc that “bulges”. If that bulge causes pressure on the sciatic nerve then the painful condition known as sciatica can result.
Back in the 1780s, a “snob” was a shoemaker or a shoemaker’s apprentice. By the end of the 18th century the word was being used by students at Cambridge University in England to refer to all local merchants and people of the town. The term evolved to mean one who copies those who are his or her social superior (and not in a good way). From there it wasn’t a big leap for “snob” to include anyone who emphasized their superior social standing and not just those who aspired to rank. Nowadays a snob is anyone who looks down on those considered to be of inferior standing.
“Supercilious” is a such a lovely-sounding word, with a not-so-lovely meaning. Some described as supercilious is lofty with pride, haughtily contemptuous. The term derives from the Latin “supercilium” meaning “eyebrow” (actually “above the eyelid), the idea being that a person is prone to raise his or her eyebrows to express haughtiness.
9…”The Natural” author Malamud..BERNARD
Bernard Malamud wrote the novel “The Natural”, published in 1952. It tells the story of a baseball player named Roy Hobbs, who gets shot early in his career and makes a remarkable comeback many years later. Although Roy Hobbs is a fictional character, the story is apparently based on the real-life Phillies player Eddie Waitkus, who was indeed shot in his hotel room by an obsessed fan in 1949. The film adaptation released in 1984 is an excellent movie starring Robert Redford as “The Natural”.
“Lei” is the Hawaiian word for “garland, wreath”, although in more general terms a “lei” is any series of objects strung together as an adornment for the body.
The Hawaiian party or feast known as a “luau” really dates back to 1819, when King Kamehameha II removed religious laws that governed the eating of meals. These laws called for women and men to eat separately. At the same times as he changed the laws, the king initiated the luau tradition by symbolically eating with the women who moved in his circle.
Here in the US we can choose one of three main forms to file our tax returns. Form 1040 is known as the “long form”. Form 1040A is called the “short form”, and can be used by taxpayers with taxable income below $100,000 who don’t itemize deduction. Form 1040EZ is an even simpler version of the 1040, and can be used by those with taxable income less than $100,000 who take the standard deduction and who also have no dependents. Form 1040 was originally created just for tax returns from 1913, 1914 and 1915, but it’s a form that just keeps on giving, or should I say “taking” …?
13…Path to enlightenment..ZEN
Zen is a Buddhist school that developed its own tradition in China back in the 7th century AD. Zen is a Japanese spelling of the Chinese word “chan”, which in turn derives from the Sanskrit word “dhyana” meaning “meditation”.
21…”The Kite Runner” boy..AMIR
“The Kite Runner” was the first novel by Khaled Hosseini, published in 2003. The very successful book became an equally successful film released in 2007. “The Kite Runner” tells the story of a young boy called Amir growing up in Kabul, Afghanistan. Hosseini is a medical doctor, but after the success of “The Kite Runner” he gave up his practice and is now a fulltime write. His second book “A Thousand Splendid Suns” is also a great success.
22…Really long time..AEON
Geological time is divided into a number of units of varying lengths. These are, starting from the largest:
- eon (also “aeon”)
25…Arctic ice phenomena..FLOES
An ice floe is a sheet of ice that has separated from an ice field and is floating freely on the ocean.
As my Finnish-American wife will tell you, “sauna” is a Finnish word, and is correctly pronounced “sow-nah” (with “sow” as in the female pig).
44…Fraction of a min…NSEC
“Nanosecond” is more correctly abbreviated to “ns”, and really is a tiny amount of time: one billionth of a second.
50…Bath & Body Works products..CREAMS
Bath and Body Works is a retail store headquartered in Columbus, Ohio that was founded in 1990. Shower gels, lotions, perfumes, candles … not my cup of tea …
53…Plays a round..GOLFS
There’s an urban myth that the standard number of holes on a golf course is 18 because it takes 18 shots to polish off a fifth of scotch whisky. However, the truth is that the standard number of holes in the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland happened to settle down over time at 18, and that standard was adopted all around the world.
At one time the egret species of bird was in danger of extinction due to hunting driven by the demand for plumes for women’s hats.
57…Exams for legal wannabes, for short..LSATS
The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) has been around since 1948.
“Narc” is a slang term for a law enforcement officer who tracks down criminals associated with illegal drugs. “Narc” is short for “narcotics officer”.
“Brouhaha”, meaning “ado, stir”, was a French word that back in the 1550s meant “the cry of the devil disguised as clergy” . Wow!