Edited by: Will Shortz
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies
1. Sushi bar fish : AHI
Yellowfin and bigeye tuna are usually marketed as “ahi”, the Hawaiian name. They are both big fish, with yellowfish tuna often weighing over 300 pounds, and bigeye tuna getting up to 400 pounds.
4. English socialite Middleton : PIPPA
Pippa Middleton is the younger sister of Kate Middleton, aka Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. Pippa has been chased by the media ever since she appeared as the maid of honor in her sister’s wedding to Prince William.
14. Zinger : MOT
“Bon mot” translates from French as “good word”. We use “bon mot” (and sometimes just “mot”) to mean “quip, witticism”.
16. Contrail contents : VAPOR
We talk so often about global warming these days but there is another fascinating phenomenon that is related, and known as “global dimming”. Global dimming is the reduction in the amount of heat that irradiates daily from the planet due to the insulating effect of pollution and vapor trails (contrails) from aircraft that are present in the atmosphere. The effect has been touted as a theory for decades but dramatic empirical data became available in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Planes were grounded and the skies over America were clear for three days. There was a stark change in the temperature range measured across the US for these three days, demonstrating the impact that air travel has on our climate.
17. They have tubes attached : IVS
One might see intravenous drips (IVs) in an intensive care unit (ICU).
18. Gabriel García Márquez called him “the greatest poet of the 20th century, in any language” : PABLO NERUDA
Pablo Neruda was the pen name, and eventually the legal name, used by Chilean writer Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto. Basoalto chose the name as a homage to Czech poet Jan Neruda.
26. Puny arms? : BB GUNS
A BB gun is an air pistol or rifle that shoots birdshot known as BBs. Birdshot comes in a number of different sizes, from size 9 (0.070″ in diameter) to size FF (.230″). Birdshot that is size BB (0.180″ in diameter) gives the airgun its name.
30. Slightly fermented baked dish : POI
The corm of some taro plants is used to make poi, the traditional Hawaiian dish (that I think tastes horrible). When a taro plant is grown as an ornamental, it is often called Elephant Ears due to the shape of its large leaves.
34. Type of property, in real-estate lingo : RELO
“Relocate” (relo) is a real estate term.
35. Streaming hiccups : LAGS
In Internet terms, lag is a delay in response caused by network latency. We might notice lag when streaming a video, for example.
39. French 101 word or, with a different meaning, Spanish 101 word : TRES
“Très” is French for “very”, and “tres” is Spanish for “three”.
40. Consequently : ERGO
“Ergo” is the Latin word for “hence, therefore”.
41. Sushi bar beverage, perhaps : ASAHI
Asahi is a beer, and the name of the brewery that produces it. “Asahi” is Japanese for “morning sun”. Asahi introduced a “dry beer” in 1987, igniting a craze that rocketed the brewery to the number one spot in terms of beer production in Japan, with Sapporo close behind.
43. M.M.A. stoppage : TKO
Technical knockout (TKO)
Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a full-contact combat sport in which competitors use a variety of techniques from a variety of traditional combat sports and martial arts.
44. Parent company of Reebok : ADIDAS
The brand name Adidas dates back to when Adolf “Adi” Dassler started making his own sports shoes in his mother’s laundry room in Bavaria after returning from WWI. With his brother, Adi founded Dassler shoes. The company’s big break came in 1936 at the Berlin Olympics, when Adi persuaded American sprinter Jesse Owens to use his shoes, and with the success of Jesse Owens came success for the fledgling shoe company. After WWII the brothers split, acrimoniously. Adi’s brother, Ru-dolf Da-ssler, formed “Ruda” shoes (later to become Puma), and Adi Das-sler formed “Adidas”.
47. Image on many a rupee banknote : GANDHI
Mohandas Gandhi was a political and spiritual leader in India in the first part of the 20th century, as the country sought independence from Britain. He was also referred to as “Mahatma”, meaning “great soul”. His remarkable philosophy of nonviolence and living a modest lifestyle was a great inspiration to the Indian people. India (and Pakistan) was granted independence in 1947. Tragically, Gandhi was assassinated the very next year.
The rupee is a unit of currency used in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Pakistan. The term “rupee” comes from the Sanskrit word “rupya”, which once meant “stamped, impressed” and then “coin”.
54. Brand of fruit-flavored hard candy : JOLLY RANCHER
Jolly Ranchers are a brand of hard candies that has been produced since 1949. Founded in 1949 in Golden, Colorado, the Jolly Rancher name was chosen to present a friendly, western image.
59. Cable channel owned by NBCUniversal : USA
The USA Network cable television channel has been around since 1971. Back in 1971 it was called the Madison Square Garden Network, becoming USA in 1979.
60. Sharp : ACERB
“Acerb” is a variant of “acerbic”, with both terms meaning “sour, bitter-tasting, acidic”.
62. Item that names a person holding it when its middle letter is removed : MIC
Remove the letter I from the middle of “mic” (microphone) and we get MC (emcee), someone who might be holding that mic.
63. Math whizzes, stereotypically : GEEKS
Originally, a geek was a sideshow performer, perhaps at a circus. We use the term today for someone regarded as foolish or clumsy, and also for someone who is technically driven and expert, but often socially inept.
64. Bill of 2015’s “Trainwreck” : HADER
Bill Hader is an actor and comedian best known as a member of the cast of “Saturday Night Live”. Hader was introduced to Lorne Michaels (producer of “Saturday Night Live”) by Megan Mullally, co-star of the sitcom “Will & Grace”.
“Trainwreck” is a romantic comedy released in 2015 that brings together the talents of Judd Apatow as director and Amy Schumer as writer. Schumer also stars.
1. Female friend, to Felipe : AMIGA
In Spanish, an “amigo” is a male friend, and an “amiga” is a female friend.
6. ___ Xtra (Coca-Cola product) : PIBB
The soft drink on the market today called Pibb Xtra used to be known as Mr Pibb, and before that was called Peppo. Peppo was introduced in 1972 as a direct competitor to Dr Pepper.
7. Ancient Greek city-state : POLIS
The Greek word “polis” translates as “city”, although the term is often used in English to refer to the ancient Greek city-states.
10. Onetime presidential candidate with a divinity degree from Yale : GARY HART
Gary Hart was serving as US Senator for the state of Colorado when he first ran for the Democratic nomination for president, in 1984. He made a second bid for the nomination in 1988. In the 1988 campaign, the polls showed that Hart was leading the pack when it came to light that he was having an extra-marital affair with actress and model Donna Rice. There was a famous photograph that surfaced at the time, showing Rice on Hart’s knee while the pair were in Bimini about the aptly named motor yacht “Monkey Business”.
11. “The Simpsons” character who claims he can recite pi to 40,000 places : APU
The fictional Kwik-E-Mart store is operated by Apu Nahasapeemapetilon on “The Simpsons” TV show. Apu is married to Manjula, and the couple have eight children. The convenience store owner doesn’t seem to be making much use of his Ph.D in computer science that he earned in the US. Apu’s undergraduate degree is from Caltech (the Calcutta Technical Institute), where he graduated top of his class of seven million students …
13. Baseball’s dead-ball ___ : ERA
Before 1919, when Babe Ruth started to hit home runs like they were going out of style, baseball was more of a strategy-driven sport. There was less emphasis on power hitting, and more emphasis on playing “small ball”, with a focus on stolen bases and hit-and-run plays. In addition, the ball used was relatively “dead” and unresponsive to the bat. As a result, the period before 1919 is referred to as baseball’s “dead-ball era”.
19. Like some monuments: Abbr. : NATL
A national monument is like a national park to some degree. The main difference is that it takes an Act of Congress to create a national park, whereas as the President can declare an area a national monument without the need for approval by Congress.
27. “Sweet love of my life,” in a 1976 Bob Dylan song : SARA
The real name of singer Bob Dylan is Robert Zimmerman. Zimmerman chose that particular stage name because he was greatly influenced by the poetry of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas.
Bob Dylan’s 1976 song “Sara” is a tribute to his then-wife Sara Dylan née Noznisky. In the song, Bob describes Sara as a “radiant jewel, mystical wife”. Sadly, the couple divorced the following year.
32. What’s not a sin in math class? : COS
The most familiar trigonometric functions are sine, cosine and tangent (abbreviated to “sin, cos and tan”). Each of these is a ratio, a ratio of two sides of a right-angled triangle. The “reciprocal” of these three functions are secant, cosecant and cotangent. The reciprocal functions are simply the inverted ratios, the inverted sine, cosine and tangent. These inverted ratios should not be confused with the “inverse” trigonometric functions e.g. arcsine, arccosine and arctangent. These inverse functions are the reverse of the sine, cosine and tangent.
36. Float fixer : SODA JERK
In the halcyon days of yore, a “soda jerk” was usually a young person whose main job was to serve ice cream sodas in a drugstore. The server would “jerk” the handle on the soda fountain to dispense the soda water, giving the job its distinctive name.
38. Bone of the hand or foot : PHALANGE
I always thought that the singular of “phalanges” was “phalanx”, but I guess “phalange” is used as well. A phalanx/phalange is a bone in a finger or toe.
45. Mushroom producers : A-BOMBS
There are two classes of nuclear weapons, both of which get the energy for the explosion from nuclear reactions. The first nuclear bombs developed, called atomic bombs (A-bombs), use fission reactions. Uranium nuclei are split into smaller nuclei with the release of an awful lot of energy in the process. The second class of nuclear weapons are fusion bombs. These devices are called thermonuclear weapons or hydrogen bombs (H-bombs). In a fusion reaction, the nuclei of hydrogen isotopes are fused together to form bigger nuclei, with the release of even greater amounts of energy.
46. Point of ___ : SALE
“Point of sale” is an alternative name for “checkout”, the place where a transaction is completed in a store.
48. Rap’s Run-___ : DMC
Run-DMC was a hip hop group from Queens, New York. The trio took its name from two of the group’s members: Joseph “Run” Simmons and Darryl “DMC” McDaniels.
53. “30 Rock” character with the same first name as its actor : TRACY
The actor and comedian Tracy Morgan plays the role of Tracy Jordan on the the TV show “30 Rock”. Morgan got his big break on TV when he joined the cast of “Saturday Night Live” in 1996. He stayed with the show for eight seasons.