Edited by: Will Shortz
There’s a note with today’s puzzle that reads:
The one-word Across clues all have an unusual relationship with their answers.
Each of the across-clues is a homonym of the “real” clue.
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies
13. Sum : A TAD (some)
Back in the 1800s, “tad” was used to describe a young child, and this extended into our usage of “small amount” in the early 1900s. The original use of “tad” for a child is very likely a shortened version of “tadpole”.
16. Mustard : MOBILIZED (mustered)
“To pass muster” means “to be deemed acceptable”. One musters troops, often for inspection. So, the original meaning of “pass muster” was to “get through a military inspection successfully”.
23. Bass : DEPOT (base)
Our term “depot”, meaning a station or warehouse, comes from the French word “dépôt”. The French term translates into English as “deposit” or “place of deposit”.
24. Handsome : CAB (hansom)
A hansom cab is a very specific design of horse and buggy that was patented by Joseph Hansom in 1834 in England. The “cab” in the name is short for “cabriolet”, an earlier design of carriage on which the hansom was based. It’s from “hansom cab” that we get our modern term “cab”.
32. Missal : ATLAS (missile)
Atlas boosters launched the first four US astronauts into space. The Atlas rocket design was originally developed in the late fifties and was deployed for several years as it was intended, as an intercontinental ballistic missile.
34. Lickers : RYES (liquors)
For whiskey to be labelled as “rye” in the US, it has to be distilled from at least 51% rye grain. In Canada however, a drink called rye whiskey sometimes contains no rye at all.
44. Flour : PEONY (flower)
The flowering plant called a peony is named for Paean, the mythical physician to the Greek gods.
46. Hoes : TUBE (hose)
The word “hose” meaning a “covering for the leg” has the same roots as the contemporary German word “Hose” meaning “trousers, pants”.
1. Heisman winner Newton : CAM
Cam Newton plays quarterback for the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. One interesting thing about Newton is that he is a pescetarian, eating seafood but not the flesh of other animals. Sounds fishy to me …
3. Broccoli ___ : RABE
Broccoli rabe is perhaps better known as “rapini”, and is a vegetable often used in Mediterranean cuisines. It is quite delicious sauteed with garlic …
4. English poet Sitwell : EDITH
Dame Edith Sitwell was a British poet, elder sister to Osbert and Sacheverell Sitwell who were also noted writers.
8. ___ the Giant, first inductee in the W.W.E. Hall of Fame : ANDRE
André the Giant was a professional wrestler from France whose real name was André René Roussimoff. He suffered from gigantism, overproduction of growth hormone, and reached the height of 6 feet 3 inches by the time he was 12-years-old. But, he used his size to develop a very successful career in the ring.
9. It starts “On my honor, I will do my best …” : SCOUT OATH
According to the World Organization of the Scout Movement, the Scout Promise is:
On my honour I promise that I will do my best—
To do my duty to God and my Country
To help other people at all times and
To obey the Scout Law.
10. Watson or Thompson of 2017’s “Beauty and the Beast” : EMMA
Emma Watson is the English actress famous for playing Hermione Granger in the “Harry Potter” series of movies. Watson continued her education while pursuing her acting career and studied at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.
Emma Thompson is one of my favorite English actresses, and someone who has appeared in many of my favorite films. She probably first came to attention in the US when she won an Oscar for her role in “Howards End”, which she followed up with “Remains of the Day” and “In the Name of the Father”. Perhaps my favorite production of hers is her own adaptation of “Sense and Sensibility”, which won her Oscars for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actress. Emma Thompson went to Cambridge University and was good friends with a host of successful British actors and entertainers, including her ex-boyfriend Hugh Laurie who is famous in the US for playing the title role in television’s “House”.
Disney’s 2017 romantic fantasy film “Beauty and the Beast” is based on the animated movie the same studio released in 1991. In turn, 1991’s “Beauty and the Beast” was an adaptation of the 18th-century version of the fairy tale “La Belle et la Bête” written by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont. Emma Watson and Dan Stevens play the title roles in the 2017 film, with both performances garnering critical acclaim.
11. Diamond with 21 platinum albums : NEIL
I saw Neil Diamond in concert back in the mid-nineties, and I must say he does put on a great show. His voice is cracking a bit, but that didn’t seem to spoil anyone’s enjoyment. I’ve also seen Diamond interviewed a few times on television, and I wouldn’t say he has the most scintillating of personalities.
12. Army awards just below Medals of Honor: Abbr. : DSCS
The highest military decoration awarded for gallantry is the Medal of Honor. The second highest medal is specific to the service, namely the Distinguished Service Cross (Army), the Navy Cross (Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard) and the Air Force Cross. The third highest award is the Silver Star.
23. Troubles with timber : DRY ROTS
Dry rot is a fungal infection that causes wood to decay as the fungus digest those parts of the wood giving it strength and structure. Despite the name, dry rot does indeed require the presence of some moisture to thrive. Wet rot is a similar condition, but one requiring a higher moisture content.
24. Bills that one doesn’t mind piling up : CASH
Our word “cash” comes from the Middle French “caisse” meaning “money box”.
28. ___ Sea, body greatly diminished by Russian irrigation projects : ARAL
The Aral Sea is a great example of how man can have a devastating effect on his environment. In the early sixties the Aral Sea covered 68,000 square miles of Central Asia. Soviet Union irrigation projects drained the lake to such an extent that today the total area is less than 7,000 square miles, with 90% of the lake now completely dry. Sad …
30. Some works at MoMA and the Art Institute of Chicago : MIROS
Joan Miró was a Spanish artist. Miro immersed himself in Surrealism, so much so that Andre Breton, the founder of the movement, said that Miro was “the most Surrealist of us all”.
31. Big name in household appliances : AMANA
The Amana Corporation takes its name from the location of its original headquarters, in Middle Amana, Iowa. Today, the Amana name is very much associated with household appliances. The company was founded in 1934 to manufacture commercial walk-in coolers.
33. 160 acres per farmer, in the Homestead Act of 1862 : ALLOTMENT
The Homestead Act of 1862 was the first in a series of federal laws that made small plots of farming land available for purchase to particular individuals at a reasonable price. The list of eligible applicants included women, African-Americans and immigrants. Enacted during the Civil War, the law specifically prohibited Southern slave-owners from purchasing the land, as well as anyone who had taken up arms against the US government.
35. Classical rebuke : ET TU?
It was Shakespeare who popularized the words “Et tu, Brute?” (And you, Brutus?). They appear in his play “Julius Caesar”, although the phrase had been around long before he penned his drama. It’s not known what Julius Caesar actually said in real life (if anything at all) as he was assassinated on on the steps of the Senate in Rome.
43. Vice president after Biden : PENCE
Mike Pence served as the 50th Governor of Indiana from 2013 until 2017, when he became the 48th Vice President of the US in the Trump administration. Famously, Vice President Pence has described himself as “a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order”, although he grew up in an Irish Catholic Democrat family.
Vice President Joe Biden was a US Senator representing the state of Delaware from 1973 until he joined the Obama administration. While he was a senator, Vice President Biden commuted to Washington from Wilmington, Delaware almost every working day. He was such an active customer and supporter of Amtrak that the Wilmington Station was renamed as the Joseph R. Biden Railroad Station in 2011. Biden has made over 7,000 trips from that station, and the Amtrak crews were known to even hold the last train for a few minutes so that he could catch it. Biden earned himself the nickname “Amtrak Joe”.
45. Declaration on a Chinese menu : NO MSG
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is the sodium salt of a naturally-occurring,non-essential amino acid called glutamic acid. It is used widely as a flavor enhancer, particularly in many Asian cuisines. Whether or not it is harmful seems to be still under debate. I say that something produced in a test tube shouldn’t be in our food …
50. One who may order an operation, informally : ER DOC
Emergency room doctor (ER doc)
52. Designer Donna : KARAN
Donna Karan is an American fashion designer, creator of the Donna Karan New York (DKNY) clothing label. Karan was very much raised in the fashion industry, as her mother was a model and her stepfather a tailor.
54. Priest from on high? : LAMA
“Lama” is a Tibetan word meaning “chief” or “high priest”.
56. Kramer and Kramer, in “Kramer vs. Kramer” : EXES
“Kramer vs. Kramer” is a 1979 film based on a Avery Corman novel. The movie stars Meryl Streep and Dustin Hoffman as a couple getting a divorce, and the impact that the breakup has on their young son.
61. One of the Gabors of old Hollywood : EVA
Eva Gabor was the youngest of the Gabor sisters, all three of whom were celebrated Hollywood actresses and socialites (her siblings were Zsa-Zsa and Magda). One of Eva’s claims to fame is the unwitting promotion of the game called “Twister”, the sales of which were languishing in 1966. In an appearance on “The Tonight Show” she got on all fours and played the game with Johnny Carson. Sales took off immediately, and Twister became a huge hit.
62. Suffix with saw : -YER
A “sawyer” is someone who saws wood for a living.