Edited by: Rich Norris
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Each of today’s themed answers ends with a “watery” geographic feature, a feature that is WATERLOGGED:
- 62A. Saturated like the ends of 17-, 23-, 39- and 50-Across? : WATERLOGGED
- 17A. 24-hour broadcaster that keeps you up-to-date : NEWS CHANNEL
- 23A. Music from Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey et al. : BIG BAND SOUND
- 39A. Ship’s area for medical assistance : SICK BAY
- 50A. Singer dubbed “King of Country” : GEORGE STRAIT
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
5. Evening affair : SOIREE
“Soir” is the French word for “evening” and a “soirée” is an “evening party”. The French word “soirée” has an acute accent over the first “e”, but we tend to drop this when using the word in English.
14. Clarinet cousin : OBOE
The oboe is perhaps my favorite of the reed instruments. The name “oboe” comes from the French “hautbois” which means “high wood”.
The clarinet is a lovely-sounding instrument, isn’t it? The name comes from the Italian word “clarino” meaning “trumpet” with the “-et” suffix indicating “small”.
16. Wall St. specialist : ARB
“Arb” is short for an arbitrageur, one who profits from the purchase of securities in one market and the subsequent sale in another, hence taking advantage of price discrepancies across markets.
19. CBS police series with three spin-offs : CSI
The “CSI” franchise of TV shows has been tremendously successful, but seems to have finally wound down. “CSI: Miami” (the “worst” of the franchise, I think) was cancelled in 2012 after ten seasons. “CSI: NY” (the “best” of the franchise) was cancelled in 2013 after nine seasons. The original “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”, set in Las Vegas, hung in there until 2015 when it ended with a two-hour TV movie. The youngest show in the series was “CSI: Cyber”. It lasted for two season before being canceled in 2016.
20. Moog, briefly : SYNTH
In the sixties, Robert Moog invented the Moog Synthesizer, an electronic device that he used to produce music. I used to own a few of his albums, including a Moog version of Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition”. What a great performance that was …
21. Detroit NFLer : LION
The Detroit Lions are the NFL team that plays home games at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. The team was founded way back in 1929 as the Portsmouth Spartans from Portsmouth, Ohio. The Spartans joined the NFL during the Great Depression as other franchises collapsed. However, the Spartans couldn’t command a large enough gate in Portsmouth so the team was sold and relocated to Detroit in 1934.
22. Hershey’s toffee bar : SKOR
Skor is a candy bar produced by Hershey’s. “Skor” is Swedish for “shoes”, and the candy bar’s wrapping features a crown that is identical to that found in the Swedish national emblem. What shoes have to do with candy, I don’t know …
23. Music from Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey et al. : BIG BAND SOUND
Famously, Glenn Miller signed up with the US Air Force Band during World War II, and disappeared while flying from the South of England to entertain troops that had just liberated Paris. Miller is still listed as missing in action …
Tommy Dorsey was a jazz trombonist and bandleader in the Big Band era, and the younger brother of bandleader Jimmy Dorsey. One of Tommy’s singers was Frank Sinatra, whom he hired from bandleader Harry James in 1940. Sinatra claimed that he learned breath control from watching Tommy Dorsey play the trombone.
26. Chintzy : CHEAPO
Chintz is a calico fabric that is very florid, and which originated in India. Indian chintz was in such great demand in Europe in the 17th-century, and so much was sold, that both England and France banned its import. This contributed to the term “chintz” being applied derogatively to a fabric, and from there to anything cheap or gaudy.
29. Type of waste pump : SUMP
A “sump” has been a “pit to collect water” since the middle of the 17th century. Prior to that, a sump was a marsh or a morass.
35. Last Marx brother, alphabetically : ZEPPO
“Zeppo” was the stage name of Herbert, the youngest of the five Marx Brothers. Although Zeppo appeared in the first five Marx Brothers movies, always playing the straight man and the romantic lead. After he quit acting, Zeppo owned a company called Marman Products, and developed what’s known today as the Marman Clamp. Marman clamps were used to secure the first atomic bombs used by the US military. They are still used today in spaceflight systems.
41. Spy novelist Deighton : LEN
I used to walk my dog right past author Len Deighton’s house years ago, as we lived in the same village in Ireland (probably my only claim to “fame”). Deighton wrote the excellent espionage thriller “The IPCRESS File”, made into a 1965 movie starring Michael Caine.
42. Bette’s “Divine” nickname : MISS M
One of my favorite singers, and indeed all-round entertainers, is Bette Midler. If you’ve ever seen her live show you’ll know that “camp” is a good word to describe it, as her humor is definitely “out there” and quite bawdy. Early in her career, Midler spent years singing in the Continental Baths, a gay bathhouse in New York City. There she became very close friends with her piano accompanist, Barry Manilow. While singing in the bathhouse, Bette only wore a white towel, just like the members of her audience. It was in those days that she created her famous character “the Divine Miss M” and also earned herself the nickname “Bathhouse Betty”.
50. Singer dubbed “King of Country” : GEORGE STRAIT
George Strait is a country music singer known as the “King of Country”. The moniker seems to be well deserved, as Strait has had more number-one hits on Billboard’s list of Hot Country Songs than any other artist.
55. Doctor Zhivago’s love : LARA
The heroine of Boris Pasternak’s epic novel “Doctor Zhivago” is Lara. The Lara character was inspired by Pasternak’s mistress Olga Ivinskaya.
56. Island band The __ Men : BAHA
The Baha Men are so called because they hail from the Bahamas. Their big hit was “Who Let the Dogs Out?” That song ranked as third in a list of the world’s most annoying songs!
57. Garlicky mayo : AIOLI
To the purist, especially in Provence in the South of France, aioli is prepared just by grinding garlic with olive oil. However, other ingredients are often added to the mix, particularly egg yolks.
62. Saturated like the ends of 17-, 23-, 39- and 50-Across? : WATERLOGGED
The term “waterlog” was coined in the 1750s, when it described a ship that had taken on so much water that she was barely afloat. The vessel was uncontrollable, and behaved like a “log” floating on the surface of the “water”.
65. Exercise pieces : ETUDES
An étude is a short instrumental composition that is usually quite hard to play and is intended to help the performer master a particular technique. “Étude” is the French word for “study”. Études are commonly performed on the piano.
66. Russian range or river : URAL
The Ural River rises in the Ural Mountains in Russia and flows for half its length through Russian territory until it crosses the border into Kazakhstan, finally emptying into the Caspian Sea.
67. Symphonic gp. inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017 : ELO
The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) is a symphonic rock group from the north of England.
69. Start of a choosing rhyme : EENY …
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,
Catch the tiger/monkey/baby by the toe.
If it hollers/screams let him go,
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, you are it!
1. Pen occupants : CONS
A convict (con) might be incarcerated in the penitentiary (pen).
5. Globe shape: Abbr. : SPH
6. Dental care brand : ORAL-B
The Oral-B toothbrush was introduced to the world in 1950, designed by a California periodontist. The first “model” was the Oral-B 60, a name given to reflect the 60 tufts in the brush. In 1969, the Oral-B was the first toothbrush to get to the moon as it was the toothbrush of choice for the crew of the Apollo 11 spacecraft.
7. Ancient Aegean land : IONIA
Lydia and Ionia were ancient territories in a part of the world now covered by modern-day Turkey. Both territories eventually fell under Greek and then Roman rule.
9. Removes errors from : EMENDS
The verb “to amend” means “to change for the better, put right, alter by adding”. The related verb “to emend” is used more rarely and mainly in reference to the editing of professional writing. Both terms are derived from the Latin “emendare” meaning “to remove fault”.
10. Bilingual subj. : ESL
English as a Second Language (ESL) is sometimes referred to as English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL).
13. “Fun, Fun, Fun” car in a 1960s song : T-BIRD
“Fun, Fun, Fun” is a 1964 song written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love for the Beach Boys. The English rock band Status Quo released a great cover version of “Fun, Fun, Fun” in 1996, which featured the Beach Boys on backup vocals.
24. Mongolian desert : GOBI
The large desert in Asia called the Gobi lies in northern China and southern Mongolia. The Gobi desert is growing at an alarming rate, particularly towards the south. This “desertification” is caused by increased human activity. The Chinese government is trying to halt the desert’s progress by planting great swaths of new forest, the so called “Green Wall of China”. The name “Gobi” is Mongolian for “waterless place, semidesert”.
25. Postwar supermodel Parker : SUZY
Suzy Parker was a remarkably successful model who was at the height of her career in fifties. Reportedly, she was the first fashion model to earn over $100,000 in a year, and the first to appear in a bikini in an American magazine. Parker also had an acting career, and appeared opposite Cary Grant in the 1957 comedy “Kiss Them for Me”. She also has a Beatles song named for her. Although “Suzy Parker” was never released, the Beatles perform it in the 1970 documentary film “Let It Be”.
26. Mollusk in a red or white linguine sauce : CLAM
Linguine is a type of pasta that is similar to spaghetti, except that in cross-section linguine is elliptical whereas spaghetti is round. The correct name for the dish is “linguine” meaning “little tongues” in Italian. That said, the misspelling “linguini” is given in some dictionaries as an acceptable Americanized variant..
27. Arizona native : HOPI
Many of the Hopi nation live on a reservation that is actually located within the much larger Navajo reservation in Arizona.
33. Calypso cousin : SKA
Ska originated in Jamaica in the late fifties and was the precursor to reggae music. No one has a really definitive etymology of the term “ska”, but it is likely to be imitative of some sound.
The musical style known as calypso originated in Trinidad and Tobago, but there seems to be some debate about which influences were most important as the genre developed. It is generally agreed that the music was imported by African slaves from their homeland, but others emphasize influences of the medieval French troubadours. To me it sounds more African in nature. Calypso reached the masses when it was first recorded in 1912, and it spread around the world in the thirties and forties. It reached its pinnacle with the release of the famous “Banana Boat Song” by Harry Belafonte.
36. Lats relatives : PECS
“Pecs” is the familiar name for the chest muscle, which is more correctly known as the pectoralis major muscle. “Pectus” is a the Latin word for “breast, chest”.
The muscles known as the “lats” are the latissimi dorsi, the broadest muscles in the back. “Latissimus” is the Latin for “broadest” and “dorsum” is Latin for “back”.
40. Singapore’s continent : ASIA
The Asian city-state of Singapore takes its name from the Malay word “Singapura” which means “Lion City”. However, lions in the wild never made it to Singapore, so the city is probably misnamed and perhaps should have been called “Tiger City”.
43. Blood bank supply : SERA
Blood serum (plural “sera”) is the clear, yellowish part of blood i.e. that part which is neither a blood cell or a clotting factor. Included in blood serum are antibodies, the proteins that are central to our immune system. Blood serum from animals that have immunity to some disease can be transferred to another individual, hence providing that second individual with some level of immunity. Blood serum used to pass on immunity can be called “antiserum”.
49. “So long, Paulo!” : CIAO!
“Ciao” is the Italian for “‘bye”. “Arrivederci” is more formal, and translates as “goodbye”.
51. Painter’s stand : EASEL
The word “easel” comes from an old Dutch word meaning “donkey” would you believe? The idea is that an easel carries its load (an oil painting, say) just as a donkey would be made to carry a load.
53. Silents star Bara : THEDA
Theda Bara was a silent film star from Cincinnati, Ohio. Many cite Bara as the first movie sex symbol. She wore very revealing costumes in many of her films and she often played the femme fatale character. As such, Bara’s nickname was “the Vamp”.
63. WWII carrier : LST
“LST” stands for Landing Ship, Tank. LSTs were the large vessels used mainly in WWII that had doors at either ends through which tanks and other vehicles could roll off and onto beaches. The design concept persists to this day in the huge fleet of commercial roll-on/roll-off car ferries, all inspired by the LST.