Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers are TV shows with titles containing a COLOR:
- 40A…1950s RCA innovation … or this puzzle’s four longest answers?..COLOR TV
- 17A…Albert/Gabor sitcom set on a farm..GREEN ACRES
- 59A…Tom Selleck police series..BLUE BLOODS
- 11D…Sitcom for which Candice Bergen won five Emmys..MURPHY BROWN
- 25D…Drama in which Tatiana Maslany plays several clones..ORPHAN BLACK
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1…Veggies in Mendel’s experiments..PEAS
Gregor Mendel was an Austrian monk, and a scientist who achieved fame after his passing when his work in the field of genetics was rediscovered. The conclusions he drew from his studies of garden peas led to him earning the moniker “father of modern genetics”.
15…Name of nearly 20 French kings..LOUIS
There were nineteen kings of France with the name Louis. The last, Louis XIX, reigned only for a matter of minutes. He was the eldest son of Charles X, who abdicated at the height of the July Revolution of 1830. When his father abdicated, Louis Antoine, Duke of Angoulême technically became King Louis XIX. However, Louis followed his father’s lead and also abdicated 20 minutes later.
17…Albert/Gabor sitcom set on a farm..GREEN ACRES
The popular sitcom “Green Acres” originally aired from 1965 to 1971. The magnificent stars of the show were Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor, playing a couple who moved from New York City to a farm in the country. “Green Acres” was cancelled as part of CBS’s so called “rural purge”. In a move to attract younger audiences, shows were added to the schedule with more urban and contemporary themes. Classics like “The Beverly Hillbillies”, “Hee Haw” and “Mayberry R.F.D.” were dropped at the same time as “Green Acres”.
Iris is a genus of flowering plants that come in a wide variety of flower colors. The term “iris” is a Greek word meaning “rainbow”.
21…Remain firm..STAND PAT
“To stand pat” is to resist change. The term comes from the game of poker, in which one “stands pat” if one keeps one’s hand as is, not drawing any extra cards.
A “glyph” is a writing element, perhaps an individual letter. The related term “pictograph” describes a graphic symbol that can be used as an element in writing.
35…Award for Tiger Woods or Roger Federer..ESPY
Awards ceremony since 1993 : ESPYS. The ESPY Awards are a creation of the ESPN sports television network. One difference with similarly named awards in the entertainment industry is that ESPY winners are chosen solely based on viewer votes.
The golfer Tiger Woods’ real name is Eldrick Tont Woods? “Tont” is a traditional Thai name. Tiger’s father Earl Woods met his second wife Kultida Punsawad in 1966 while on a tour of duty in Thailand.
36…Con’s early release..PAROLE
The term “parole” is a French word that we use in English, with the French “parole” meaning “word, speech”. Of particular interest is the French phrase “parole d’honneur” which translates as “word of honor”. In the early 1600s we started using “parole” to mean a promise by a prisoner of war not to escape, as in the prisoner giving his “word of honor” not to run off. Over time, parole has come to mean conditional release of a prisoner before he or she has served the full term of a sentence.
Back in 18th-century America, when neighbors would gather to work for the benefit of one of their group, such a meeting was called a “bee”. The name “bee” was an allusion to the social nature of the insect. In modern parlance, a further element of entertainment and pleasure has been introduced, for example in a “quilting bee”, or even a “spelling bee”.
40…1950s RCA innovation … or this puzzle’s four longest answers?..COLOR TV
Early television programming was broadcast in monochrome, i.e. black-and-white or greyscale. The introduction of color television built on the technology behind monochrome TV in the sense that color television images are a combination of three monochrome images. The colors of these three monochrome signals are red, green and blue (RGB).
A highway (hwy.) is a route (rte.).
42…Stat for Cy Young..ERA
Earned run average (ERA)
Cy Young was a pitcher in the major leagues from 1890-1911. Young is remembered for pitching the first perfect game of baseball’s modern era. Soon after he died in 1955, the Cy Young Award was created and is presented to the best pitcher in each baseball season.
The first person to use the term “thesaurus” to mean a “collection of words arranged according to sense” was Roget in 1852, when he used it for the title of his most famous work. Up to that point in time, a thesaurus was basically an encyclopedia. Before being used with reference to books, a thesaurus was a storehouse or treasury, coming from the Latin “thesaurus” meaning “treasury, treasure”.
48…”Space Oddity” singer David..BOWIE
In early 1969, the struggling David Bowie recorded a promotional film in an attempt to reach a wider audience. The film called “Love You Till Tuesday” featured seven of Bowie’s songs in what amounted to an extended music video, with one of the tracks being “Space Oddity”. Somebody smart put two and two together later in the year and decided that a fresh version of “Space Oddity” should be released, to coincide with the Apollo moon landings. Sure enough, the BBC snagged the track for their coverage of the landings and gave Bowie huge audiences. And the song still gets an awful lot of air time on the small screen. Famously, Bowie turned down the honor of Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 2000. The British government tried again in 2003, offering a knighthood, but Bowie stuck to his guns and refused that honor too. Bowie did however accept the French title of Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1999.
Our word “coliseum”, meaning an arena, was first imported into English to describe a music hall in the early 1700s. The term is a variant of the Latin “Colosseum”, the huge amphitheater in Rome.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a US Federal holiday taking place on the third Monday of each year. It celebrates the birthday of Dr. King, and was signed into law by President Reagan in 1983, and first observed in 1986. However, some states resisted naming the holiday MLK Day, and gave it alternative names (like “Civil Rights Day”), but it was officially celebrated as MLK Day in all 50 states from the year 2000 onwards.
58…Garden of Eden exile..ADAM
In the Christian tradition, the “fall of man” took place in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve succumbed to the temptation of eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, against the bidding of God. As a result, Adam and Eve were banished from Eden to prevent them becoming immortal by eating from the tree of life. The first humans had transitioned from a state of innocent obedience to a state of guilty disobedience.
59…Tom Selleck police series..BLUE BLOODS
“Blue Bloods” is a police drama series about a family of police officers led by Police Commissioner Frank Reagan, played by Tom Selleck. The show has been on the air since 2010.
Lice (singular “louse”) are small wingless insects of which there are thousands of species, three of which are human disease agents. The three kinds of lice affecting humans are head lice, body lice and pubic lice. Most lice feed on dead skin found on the body of the host animal, although some feed on blood. Ick …
65…Prefix with mural..INTRA-
Intramural sports are conducted within a certain geographic area, as opposed to varsity sports which are played with teams outside that area. The term “intramural” comes from the Latin for “within walls” and first applied to events held between teams based within the walls of a city.
Ore-Ida’s founders came up with the idea for Tater Tots when they were deciding what to do with residual cuts of potato. They chopped up the leftovers, added flour and seasoning, and extruded the mix through a large hole making a sausage that they cut into small cylinders. We eat 70 million pounds of this extruded potato every year!
69…Thomas Hardy heroine..TESS
The full name of Thomas Hardy’s 1891 novel is “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented”. When it was originally published, “Tess …” received very mixed reviews, largely because it addressed some difficult sexual themes including rape, and sexual double standards (attitudes towards men vs women). I suppose the most celebrated screen adaptation is Roman Polanski’s “Tess” released in 1979. Polanski apparently made “Tess” because his wife, Sharon Tate, gave him Hardy’s novel as her last act before she was murdered by the Manson family. There is a dedication at the beginning of the movie that just says “To Sharon”.
2…Organ associated with van Gogh..EAR
Vincent van Gogh was visited by fellow-artist Paul Gauguin in Arles in 1888. At one point the two argued quite violently, with van Gogh eventually threatening his friend with a razor blade. In a panic, van Gogh fled the house and made his way to a local brothel. Famously, that night he cut off his own left ear.
A flying ace is an aviator who has shot down a number of enemy planes during combat. The qualifying number of kills seems to vary, but five is common. The first use of “ace” was during WWI when the French newspapers dubbed pilot Adolphe Pegoud “l’as” (French for “the ace”) when he shot down his fifth German plane.
Mary Shelley’s Gothic novel has the full title of “Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus”. The subtitle underscores one of the themes of the book, a warning about man’s expansion into the Industrial Revolution.
6…Legendary big bird..ROC
The mythical roc is a huge bird of prey, reputedly able to carry off and eat elephants. The roc was said to come from the Indian subcontinent. The supposed existence of the roc was promulgated by Marco Polo in the accounts that he published of his travels through Asia.
11…Sitcom for which Candice Bergen won five Emmys..MURPHY BROWN
The actress and former model Candice Bergen is the daughter of ventriloquist Edgar Bergen (of Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd fame). The first Candice Bergman film I remember seeing is 1970’s “Soldier Blue”, which was very big on the other side of the Atlantic, and not so much here in North America. She also played the title role in the sitcom “Murphy Brown” for ten years in the eighties and nineties.
12…Most populous continent..ASIA
Most of the world’s population lives in Asia (60%), and Asia is the largest continent in terms of landmass (30% of the world). Asia also has the highest population density (246 people per square mile), and the most populous city on the continent is Shanghai, China.
The Negev is a desert region in southern Israel. The largest city in the Negev is Beersheba.
24…Big name in recent Cuban history..CASTRO
Fidel Castro studied law at the University of Havana and there became a follower of left-wing ideals. He launched his first rebellion against Cuban president Fulgencio Batista in 1953, which landed him in jail for a year. He later led rebels in a guerrilla war against the Cuban government, which led to the Cuban Revolution and the overthrow of Batista in 1959. Castro took control of the country, and immediately formed a strong relationship with the Soviet Union. Concern over the alliance in the US led to the botched Bay of Pigs Invasion of 1961. There followed the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. Fidel Castro started to transfer power to his brother Raúl in 2008, and has led a life of increasing retirement ever since.
25…Drama in which Tatiana Maslany plays several clones..ORPHAN BLACK
“Orphan Black” is a Canadian sci-fi TV show about several women who discover that they are in fact clones. Star of the show is Tatiana Maslany, who has what must be an exhausting job, playing all of the clones.
33…”The Dick Van Dyke Show” surname..PETRIE
“The Dick Van Dyke Show” is a sitcom that ran from 1961 to 1966 starring Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore as Rob and Laura Petrie. This classic show was created by the great Carl Reiner, who also had a supporting role on screen.
37…Old Ford model..LTD
There has been a lot of speculation about what the abbreviation LTD stands for in the car model known as “Ford LTD”. Many say it is an initialism standing for Luxury Trim Decor, and others say that it is short for “limited”. Although the car was produced in Australia with the initialism meaning Lincoln Type Design, it seems LTD was originally chosen as just three meaningless letters that sound well together.
46…Tony winner Tammy..GRIMES
Actress Tammy Grimes is mainly known for her stage work, and won a Tony in 1961 for her performance in “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” on Broadway. Grimes’ first husband was fellow-actor Christopher Plummer, with whom she has a daughter Amanda Plummer, who is also a noted actress.
“To embar” is to hinder or stop, to perhaps hinder with a bar. The related term “embargo” describes the action of barring vessels from entering or leaving a nation’s ports.
In terms of population, Cali is the third largest city in Colombia (after Bogotá and Medellin). Santiago de Cali (the full name for the city) lies in western Colombia. Apparently, Cali is a destination for “medical tourists”. The city’s surgeons have a reputation for being expert in cosmetic surgery and so folks head there looking for a “cheap” nose job. Calia has also been historically associated with the illegal drug trade and money laundering.
54…Chief Norse god..ODIN
In Norse mythology, Odin was the chief of the gods. Odin’s wife Frigg was the queen of Asgard whose name gave us our English term “Friday” (via Anglo-Saxon). Odin’s son was Thor, and his name gave us the term “Thursday”. Odin himself gave us our word “Wednesday”, from “Wodin”, the English form of his name.
55…Bone near the radius..ULNA
The radius and ulna are bones in the forearm. If you hold the palm of your hand up in front of you, the radius is the bone on the “thumb-side” of the arm, and the ulna is the bone on the “pinkie-side”.
The original use of the term “mutt” was for a foolish person, and was probably short for “muttonhead”. The usage evolved from there into today’s “mongrel dog”.
Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS)
63…Palindromic call for help..SOS
The combination of three dots – three dashes – three dots, is a Morse signal first introduced by the German government as a standard distress call in 1905. The sequence is remembered as the letters SOS (three dots – pause – three dashes – pause – three dots), although in the emergency signal there is no pause between the dots and dashes, so SOS is in effect only a mnemonic. Similarly, the phrases “Save Our Souls” and “Save Our Ship” are also mnemonics, introduced after the “SOS” signal was adopted.