Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers sound like common phrases with an “a” sound changed to a short “o” sound:
- 17A. Why St. Peter owns darning needles? : FOR HEAVEN’S SOCKS (from “for heaven’s sakes”)
- 31A. Museum of Home Security exhibits? : THE GREAT LOCKS (from “the Great Lakes”)
- 37A. What a shepherd sees after a snowstorm? : FROSTED FLOCKS (from “Frosted Flakes”)
- 57A. Consumer reactions to big price hikes for brownies? : CHOCOLATE SHOCKS (from “chocolate shakes”)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
6. Verne voyager : NEMO
In the 1954 movie version of “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”, Captain Nemo goes down with his ship. In the novel by Jules Verne the fate of Nemo and his crew isn’t quite so cut and dry, although the inference is perhaps that they did indeed head for Davy Jones’ Locker.
Jules Verne really was a groundbreaking author. Verne pioneered the science fiction genre, writing about space, air and underwater travel, long before they were practical and proved feasible. Verne is the second-most translated author of all time, with only Agatha Christie beating him out.
10. Campus hangout : QUAD
A university often features a central quadrangle (quad).
14. “Things are never quite as scary when you’ve got __ friend”: Bill Watterson : A BEST
Cartoonist Bill Watterson is best known for the widely syndicated comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes”. He drew that strip from 1985 until 1995, at which point Watterston effectively withdrew into private life. He now values his privacy, and spends a lot of time painting.
15. Old Roman poet : OVID
The Roman poet Publius Ovidius Naso is today known simply as Ovid. Ovid is usually listed alongside the two other great Roman poets: Horace and Virgil. Although he was immensely popular during his own lifetime, he spent the last ten years of his life in exile. He fell foul of Emperor Augustus, although what led to this disfavor isn’t truly understood.
16. “Once more __ the breach”: Shak. : UNTO
Shakespeare’s play “Henry V” is more correctly called “The Life of Henry the Fifth”. The story mainly focuses on his life before and immediately after the king’s celebrated victory over the French at the Battle of Agincourt. “Henry V” includes one of Shakespeare’s most celebrated speeches, an address by the king to his troops at the siege of Harfleur, with the opening lines:
Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead …
17. Why St. Peter owns darning needles? : FOR HEAVEN’S SOCKS (from “for heaven’s sakes”)
In the Christian tradition, Saint Peter is often depicted as the keeper of the gates of heaven. This depiction arises from a passage in the Gospel of Matthew:
I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
20. Actor Idris __ : ELBA
The English actor Idris Elba is probably best known in North America for playing the drug lord Stringer Bell in the marvelous HBO drama series “The Wire”, and the title character in the 2013 film “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”. Off the screen, Elba occasionally works as a disk jockey using the name DJ Big Driis.
22. Naturally lit indoor spaces : ATRIA
In modern architecture an atrium (plural “atria” or “atriums”) is a large open space usually in the center of a building and extending upwards to the roof. The original atrium was an open court in the center of an Ancient Roman house. One could access most of the enclosed rooms of the house from the atrium.
23. CV inclusion : BIO
A curriculum vitae (CV) is a listing of someone’s work experience and qualifications, and is used mainly in making a job application. The term “curriculum vitae” can be translated from Latin as “course of life”.
26. “Ah, Wilderness!” mother : ESSIE
“Ah, Wilderness!” is a comedy play by Eugene O’Neill that was first stage in 1933, on Broadway. “Ah, Wilderness!” was adapted into the musical film called “Summer Holiday” that was released in 1948.
28. Future D.A.’s hurdle : LSAT
Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
30. Fresno-to-L.A. dir. : SSE
Fresno is the largest inland city in the state of California. The city was named for the many ash trees that lined the San Joaquin River, as “fresno” is the Spanish for “ash tree”.
The California city of Los Angeles (L.A.) is the second most populous city in the country, after New York. L.A. was established in 1781 as a pueblo named “El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río de Porciúncula”, which translates as “The Town of Our Lady the Queen of Angels of the Porciúncula River”. This name evolved into “Los Angeles”, and the Porciúncula River is now called the Los Angeles River.
31. Museum of Home Security exhibits? : THE GREAT LOCKS (from “the Great Lakes”)
A well-known mnemonic for remembering the names of the Great Lakes is HOMES: standing for Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior.
35. Peanut product : OIL
I have to say it, but it drives me crazy. Peanuts aren’t nuts, they’re legumes, a plant in the bean and pea family. The flowers of the peanut plant last only one day and then wither. The fertilized ovary develops an elongated “peg” that grows downwards, pushing the ovary down into the soil. The ovary develops underground into a mature peanut pod containing between one and four seeds, which we call “nuts”. But they aren’t nuts. Did I say that already …?
36. Fraser or Douglas : FIR
The Fraser fir is a species of fir tree that is related to the balsam fir. The tree was named for Scottish botanist John Fraser. The Fraser fir is a popular Christmas tree, and has been used as the official tree in the White House more than any other variety of tree.
Various species of Douglas fir are native to North and Central America, and to Asia. The tree gets its name from the Scottish botanist David Douglas, who introduced the species into Europe.
37. What a shepherd sees after a snowstorm? : FROSTED FLOCKS (from “Frosted Flakes”)
Tony the Tiger has been the mascot of Frosted Flakes cereal since the product’s introduction in 1951. As Tony would say, “They’re Gr-r-reat!” Well, I thought they were when I was a lot younger …
46. Sol preceder : AERO-
Strictly speaking, the term “aerosol” defines a suspension of either liquid droplets or solid particles in a gas. A good example of an aerosol is smoke. We tend to use the “aerosol” to describe what comes out of a spray can, even though the liquid droplets usually fall out of the gas and don’t stay suspended.
48. Frigga portrayer in “Thor” : RUSSO
The lovely and very talented actress Rene Russo is a native of Burbank, California. Russo went to highschool (with actor/director Ron Howard), but dropped out in tenth grade. At seventeen, she was given the opportunity to train as a model and within a very short time appeared on the cover of “Vogue”. As her modelling jobs slowed down in her early thirties, Russo made a career change and studied theater and acting. I am so glad she did, as Rene Russo is one of my favorite actresses …
The 2011 movie “Thor” is yet another film based on a comic book hero. Even though I won’t be seeing it (I don’t do comics), I must admit it does have an impressive cast. Chris Hemsworth plays Thor, supported by Natalie Portman, Rene Russo and Anthony Hopkins. And to crown it all, Kenneth Branagh is the director.
54. Perfumer’s ingredient : ATTAR
Attar is a fragrant essential oil obtained from flowers, and the term often particularly refers to attar of roses.
55. Red-coated security force: Abbr. : RCMP
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (the Mounties, RCMP) is an unusual police force in that it provides all policing for the whole country. The RCMP works on the national level, and right down to the municipal level. The force’s distinctive uniform of red serge tunic, blue pants with a yellow stripe, stetson hat etc. is known internally as “Review Order”. The red uniform dates back to the days of the North-West Mounted Police, which was one of the existing forces that were merged in 1920 to form the RCMP.
57. Consumer reactions to big price hikes for brownies? : CHOCOLATE SHOCKS (from “chocolate shakes”)
Apparently the first brownies were created for the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. The recipe was developed by a pastry chef at the city’s Palmer House Hotel. The idea was to produce a cake-like dessert that was small enough and dainty enough to be eaten by ladies as part of a boxed lunch.
61. O or Jay : ALER
The Baltimore Orioles are one of the eight charter teams of MLB’s American League, so the franchise dates back to 1901. Prior to 1901, the team has roots in the Minor League Milwaukee Brewers, and indeed entered the American League as the Brewers. In 1902 the Brewers moved to St. Louis and became the Browns. The team didn’t fare well in St. Louis, so when it finally relocated to Baltimore in the early fifties the team changed its name completely, to the Baltimore Orioles. The owners so badly wanted a fresh start that they traded 17 old Browns players with the New York Yankees. The trade didn’t help the team’s performance on the field in those early days, but it did help distance the new team from its past.
The Toronto Blue Jays baseball franchise was founded in 1977. The Blue Jays are the only team based outside the US to have won a World Series, doing so in 1992 and 1993. And since the Montreal Expos relocated to Washington, the Blue Jays are the only Major League Baseball team now headquartered outside of the US.
62. Author Calvino : ITALO
As well as being an author, Italo Calvino was a famous Italian journalist. He was a supporter of communism and so wasn’t very popular in the US nor in Britain.
63. Coastal raptors : ERNS
The ern (sometimes “erne”) is also called the white-tailed eagle, or the sea-eagle.
“Raptor” is a generic term for a bird of prey, one that has talons to grip its victims.
64. Cutlass, e.g. : OLDS
Oldsmobile made the Cutlass Ciera from 1982 to 1996. The Ciera was the brand name’s most successful model.
65. City on the Ruhr : ESSEN
Essen is a large industrial city located on the River Ruhr in western Germany.
4. Org. concerned with ladder safety : 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.
5. GPS datum : RTE
A global positioning system (GPS) might point out a route (rte.).
6. “An ill-defined and disreputable literary banana republic”: Stephen King : NOVELLA
Stephen King referred to the novella as “an ill-defined and disreputable literary banana republic” in the afterword to his work “Different Seasons”. Said work is a collection of four of King’s own novellas.
7. High point of Hillary’s career : EVEREST
Mount Everest was first summited in 1953 by New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Nepalese sherpa Tenzing Norgay. Hillary and Norgay were part of an expedition from which two pairs of climbers were selected to make a summit attempt. The first pair were Tom Bourdillon and Charles Evans, and they came within 330 feet of their goal but had to turn back. The expedition sent up the second pair two days later, and history was made on 29 May 1953.
9. “__ bodkins!”: old oath : ODS
“Odds bodkins!” (sometimes “ods bodkins!”) is a minced oath, a euphemistic version of “God’s body!”.
10. “The Raven” verb : QUOTH
“The Raven” is a narrative poem by Edgar Allan Poe that tells of a student who has lost the love of his life, Lenore. A raven enters the student’s bedchamber and perches on a bust of Pallas. The raven can talk, to the student’s surprise, but says nothing but the word “nevermore” (“quoth the raven, ‘Nevermore’”). As the student questions all aspects of his life, the raven taunts him with the same comment, “nevermore”. Finally the student decides that his soul is trapped beneath the raven’s shadow and shall be lifted “nevermore” …
12. Diet doctor : ATKINS
The eating of relatively few carbohydrates is central to the diet proposed by Robert Atkins. Atkins first laid out the principles behind the Atkins diet in a research paper published in 1958 in the “Journal of the American Medical Association”. He popularized his diet starting in 1972 with his book “Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution”.
24. Dental procedure, for short : PERIO
Periodontics is that branch of dentistry dealing with the gums and the tissue supporting a tooth. The word “periodontal” was coined in the mid-19th century. The term comes from the Greek for “around the tooth”.
27. Composer Stravinsky : IGOR
The composer Igor Stravinsky’s most famous works were completed relatively early in his career, when he was quite young. His three ballets “The Firebird”, “Petrushka” and “The Rite of Spring” were published in 1910-1913, when Stravinsky was in his early thirties.
29. Devonshire dandy : TOFF
A toff is a well-dressed gentleman of the upper class.
Devon (formerly “Devonshire”) is a county in the southwest of England. The county town of Devon is Exeter, and the largest city in the county is Plymouth, the port from which the Mayflower Pilgrims departed.
32. “Born Free” lioness : ELSA
The life story of Elsa the lion was told by game warden Joy Adamson, who had a very close relationship with the lioness from when Elsa was orphaned as a young cub. Adamson wrote the book “Born Free” about Elsa, and then “Living Free” which tells the story of Elsa and her three lion cubs. In the 1966 film based on “Born Free”, Adamson is played by the talented actress Virginia McKenna.
33. Paramecium movers : CILIA
A “paramecium” is a single-celled organism that moves around in water using the tightly-spaced cilia that surrounds its body.
34. McDonald’s founder : KROC
The original McDonald’s restaurant was opened in 1940 by Richard and Maurice McDonald as a barbecue restaurant. The brothers then moved into fast food hamburgers, eventually selling out to one of their franchise agents, Ray Kroc. It was Ray Kroc who really led the company to its worldwide success. He was played by Michael Keaton in the movie about Ray Kroc’s business life called “The Founder”.
38. Controversial political cartoonist : TED RALL
Ted Rall is a political cartoonist whose cartoons are syndicated in many newspapers across North America. Several of Rall’s cartoons have created a lot of controversy.
40. Projecting architectural features : DORMERS
A dormer window is a window in a dormer! A dormer is a roofed structure that protrudes from the slope of the main roof.
41. Capital NE of Bogotá : CARACAS
Caracas is the capital of Venezuela, and is located in the north of the country. The original settlement of Caracas was named by the Spanish using the name of a local indigenous tribe.
Bogotá is the capital city of Colombia. Noted for having many libraries and universities, Bogotá is sometimes referred to as “The Athens of South America”.
43. Big hat : STETSON
Stetson is a brand name of hat, manufactured by the John B. Stetson Company of St. Joseph, Missouri. The so called “cowboy hat” that Stetson pioneered was such a success that the company became the largest hat maker in the world, producing over 3.3 million hats per year.
44. Ancient prophet : ORACLE
In Ancient Greece and Rome, an oracle was someone believed inspired by the gods to give wise counsel. The word “oracle” derives from the Latin “orare” meaning “to speak”, which is the same root for our word “orator”.
45. Comics villain since 1940 : LUTHOR
Lex Luthor is the arch-nemesis of Superman in comics. Luthor has been portrayed in a number of guises in the comic world as well in movies and on the small screen. For example, he appeared as Atom Man in the 1950 film series “Atom Man vs. Superman”, and was played by actor Lyle Talbot, opposite Kirk Alyn’s Superman.
49. Gives the heave-ho : SACKS
The term “to sack” meaning to dismiss someone from a job, used to be phrased as “to give the sack”. The expression probably came from the idea of firing a worker and sending him or her off with tools in a sack.
50. Conquistador’s treasure : ORO
In Spanish, “oro” (gold) is a “metal precioso” (precious metal).
“Conquistador” is the Spanish for “conqueror”.
52. Speed meas. : MPS
Miles per second (mps), perhaps.
56. “Chopped” array : POTS
In the world of poker, a pot might be “chopped”, split among two or more players.
58. Southeast Asian tongue : LAO
Lao is the official language of Laos. Lao is also spoken in the northeast of Thailand, but there the language is known as Isan.
59. Move it, quaintly : HIE
“To hie” is to move quickly, to bolt.