Edited by: Will Shortz
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies
1. Welcoming words : MI CASA ES SU CASA
“Mi casa es su casa” translates from Spanish as “My home is your home”.
22. Cinnabon feature : SWIRL
Cinnabon is a chain of stores that sells baked goods. The first Cinnabon store opened in 1985 in a suburb of Seattle Washington.
24. Attenuated : THIN
“To attenuate” is to reduce in intensity or effect, or to make thin or slender.
25. Gift often given with a kiss : LEI
“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.
30. “The Ransom of Red Chief” writer, 1910 : O HENRY
“O. Henry” was the pen name of writer William Sydney Porter from Greensboro, North Carolina. O. Henry is famous for his witty short stories that have a clever twist in the tail.
33. Routine : SHTICK
A shtick is a routine, a bit, a piece of entertainment. It comes from the Yiddish “shtick”, which has the same meaning and derives from the Middle High German word “stücke”, the word for “piece”.
36. What Pérez Prado was “King of” : THE MAMBO
Pérez Prado was a bandleader from Cuba who earned for himself the nickname “King of the Mambo”. He was the son of Sara Prado and Pablo Pérez, so his stage name was a melding of his paternal and maternal family names.
The form of music and dance known as “mambo” developed in Cuba. “Mambo” means “conversation with the gods” in Kikongo, a language spoken by slaves taken to Cuba from Central Africa.
40. One really aiming to please : TOADY
A toady is someone who is very servile, and somewhat of a parasite. Derived from “toad-eater” the term originally applied to the assistant of a quack, a seller of useless potions that had no actual benefit to health. The toady would eat an apparently poisonous toad in front of an audience, so that the charlatan could “cure” him or her with one of the potions for sale.
41. Current director : DIODE
A diode is component in a circuit, the most notable characteristic of which is that it will conduct electric current in only one direction. Some of those vacuum tubes we used to see in old radios and television were diodes, but nowadays almost all diodes are semiconductor devices.
42. Actor Somerhalder of “The Vampire Diaries” : IAN
Ian Somerhalder got his big break as an actor in the TV drama “Lost”, and followed that up with a part in TV’s “The Vampire Diaries”.
“The Vampire Diaries” is a series of horror novels by L. J. Smith that is aimed at teens. There is a spinoff television series of the same name. I don’t do vampires …
43. Units in Ohm’s law : AMPS
The unit of electric current is the ampere, abbreviated correctly to “A” rather than “amp”. It is named after French physicist André-Marie Ampère, one of the main scientists responsible for the discovery of electromagnetism.
The unit of electrical resistance is the ohm (with the symbol omega) named after German physicist Georg Simon Ohm. Ohm was the guy who established experimentally that the amount of current flowing through a circuit is directly proportional to the voltage applied, (V=IR) a relationship that every schoolkid knows as Ohm’s Law.
46. It might have a tent sale : REI
REI is a sporting goods store, with the initialism standing for Recreational Equipment Inc. REI was founded in Seattle by Lloyd and Mary Anderson in 1938 as a cooperative that supplies quality climbing gear to outdoor enthusiasts. The first full-time employee hired by the Andersons was Jim Whittaker, who was the first American to climb Mount Everest.
47. Old ball and chain? : MACE
A mace is a relatively simple weapon in essence. It is a heavy weight on the end of a handle that is used to deliver powerful blows on an opponent’s body.
49. Wordsworth, Coleridge and Byron wrote in it : ROMANTIC PERIOD
The great English poet William Wordsworth is intrinsically linked with the Lake District in the north of England, where he lived from much of his life. The Lake District is a beautiful part of the country, and I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Dove Cottage in Grasmere a couple of times, where Wordsworth lived with his wife Dorothy …
Samuel Taylor Coleridge was a pioneer for the Romantic Movement in England, along with his friend William Wordsworth. Coleridge’s most famous works are “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and “Kubla Khan”, which is my wife’s favorite poem.
George Gordon Byron, known simply as “Lord Byron”, was an English poet active in the early 1800s. Byron was equally as famous for his poetry as he was for the wild excesses in his personal life. Byron lived much of that life outside of England, and fought for revolutionaries in both Italy and Greece. He died from a fever contracted while fighting for the Greeks against the Ottomans.
1. Home of many Physics Nobelists, for short : MIT
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was founded in 1861 and first offered classes in 1865, in the Mercantile building in Boston. Today’s magnificent campus on the banks of the Charles River in Cambridge opened in 1916.
4. Label producer : AVERY
Avery Dennison Corporation was founded as Kum Kleen Products in 1935, by R. Stanton Avery. Kum Kleen Products were the first manufacturers of self-adhesive labels.
6. Part of a cardioid figure : ARC
A figure that is cardioid-shaped is heart-shaped.
7. Conductor ___-Pekka Salonen : ESA
Esa-Pekka Salonen is a Finnish conductor and composer.
8. Fish typically preserved in olive oil : SARDINE
Sardines are oily fish related to herrings. Sardines are also known as pilchards, although in the UK “sardine” is a noun reserved for a young pilchard. Very confusing …
10. Mo ___, longtime Arizona politician : UDALL
Mo Udall was a US Representative from Arizona. Prior to entering politics, Udall played professional basketball with the Denver Nuggets. In 1976, Udall made a run for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. He lost to then-Governor Jimmy Carter.
11. PC key : CTRL
The Control (CTRL) key on a PC keyboard is used to modify the function of other keys. For example, pressing CTRL+C copies a selection to the clipboard, and CTRL+V pastes the contents of the clipboard to a location defined by the cursor. Control keys were introduced on teletypewriters to generate “control characters”, which are non-printing characters that instruct a computer to do something like print a page, ring a bell etc.
13. Western grouse : SAGE HEN
The term “sage hen” can be used to describe sage-grouse females. And, the one-word term “sagehen” can be used for any sage-grouse, male or female. At least, I think so …
14. Workshop : ATELIER
An atelier is an artist’s studio, with “atelier” being the French word for “studio” or “workshop”.
21. Yard contents : ALE
A yard of ale is a very tall glass, one that is just under a yard (three feet) long. It holds about 60 fluid ounces of beer. I’ve tried drinking out of one, and it is extremely difficult. There is a bulb at the bottom of the glass. When you get towards the end of the drink, that bulb causes a kind of airlock and the remainder of the beer rushes to the top of the glass splashing you in the face.
24. Symbol for a plane angle, in geometry : THETA
The Greek letter theta is commonly used in geometry to represent the angle between two lines (say at the corner of a triangle).
29. One end of the pH scale : ACIDS
As we all recall from chemistry class, a pH of 7 is considered neutral. Anything less than 7 is an acid, and anything above 7 is a base.
30. View pieces : OP-EDS
“Op-ed” is an abbreviation for “opposite the editorial page”. Op-eds started in “The New York Evening World” in 1921 when the page opposite the editorials was used for articles written by a named guest writer, someone independent of the editorial board.
35. Thickening agent : TAPIOCA
The cassava plant is a woody shrub native to South America grown largely for its carbohydrate-rich tubers. In fact, the cassava is the third largest food source of carbohydrates (for humans) in the world. Ordinarily, that carbohydrate is extracted from the plant, dried as flour and is called tapioca.
37. Resident of the so-called “Capital of Latin America” : MIAMIAN
The city of Miami in Florida takes its name from the nearby Miami River, which is itself named for the Mayaimi Native American people who lived around nearby Lake Okeechobee.
38. Big gun : BAZOOKA
A bazooka is a metal tube rocket launcher. The first bazooka-type weapon was developed for the US Army just before the end of WWI. The weapon is also known as a “stovepipe”, due to its appearance.
39. Small square : ONE
The number 1 squared is 1, 1 x 1 = 1.
41. One who’s gotten the third degree? : DOCTOR
PhD is an abbreviation for “philosophiae doctor”, Latin for “teacher of philosophy”. Often, candidates for an earned PhD already hold a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, so a PhD might be considered a “third degree”.
45. Nice thanks : MERCI
The French city of Nice is on the Mediterranean coast in the southeast of the country. Although Nice is only the fifth most populous city in France, it is home to the busiest airport outside of Paris. That’s because of all the tourists flocking to the French Riviera.
50. It went around for 15 years : MIR
The Russian Mir Space Station was a remarkably successful project, with the station still holding the record for the longest continuous manned presence in space, at just under ten years. Towards the end of the space station’s life however, the years began to take their toll. There was a dangerous fire, multiple system failures, and a collision with a resupply ship. The Russian commitment to the International Space Station drained funds for repairs, so Mir was allowed to reenter the Earth’s atmosphere and burn up in 2001. “Mir” is a Russian word meaning “peace” or “world”.
52. Beta preceder : PHI
Phi Beta Kappa was the first collegiate Greek fraternity in the US, founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary. The organization served as a model for future collegiate fraternities and sororities, although in the 19th century Phi Beta Kappa distanced itself from the fraternal focus and transformed into the honor society that it is today, recognizing academic excellence. The initials Phi Beta Kappa stand for “philosophia biou kybernētēs”, which translates into “philosophy is the guide of life”. The symbol of the Phi Beta Kappa Society is a golden key.