THEME: THRILLA IN MANILLA … all the theme answers relate to the ALI-FRAZIER FIGHT that took place 35 years ago today
COMPLETION TIME: 10m 28s (clearly this isn’t a “Friday” puzzle, but was published today as it’s the 35th anniversary of the famous fight)
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
1. Monte Leone, for one : ALP
Monte Leone is in the Alps, on the border between Switzerland and Italy.
4. Secy., e.g. : ASST
A secretary is a type of assistant.
8. Henry Fielding title heroine : AMELIA
“Amelia” was the fourth and last novel written by Henry Fielding, first published in 1751. The book is considered somewhat sentimental, and it is thought that the title character is based on Fielding’s first wife, Charlotte, who passed away not long before he started writing “Amelia”. The novel is noted partly for its position on “female intelligence”, underscoring the need to create opportunities for the education of women, an unusual position for a man at that time.
14. Hebrew leader who rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem : NEHEMIAH
Nehemiah is the central character in the Book of Nehemiah in the Hebrew Bible. Nehemiah worked for the King of Persia. He was given permission by his king to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem that had been torn down over a century earlier by the Babylonians. The King made Nehemiah governor of the province, and he completed his task in 52 days. Nehemiah continued as governor for 12 more years, before returning to Persia.
16. 40-Across activity : BOXING
19. Director Riefenstahl : LENI
Leni Riefenstahl was a German film director, actress and dancer. She was a noted figure moving in Adolf Hitler’s circle, and her most famous film was a propaganda piece called “Triumph of Will”. “Triumph of the Will” documents the 1934 Nazi Party Congress in Nuremberg. We’ve all probably seen many excerpts, shots of huge crowds, Nazis marching with flags, and frenzied speeches from Hitler. Riefenstahl was arrested after the war and detained for a number of years but never found guilty of any crime. She lived a long life, a very long life. She was married for the second time in 2003, at the age of 101 years. She died just a few weeks later, as she had been suffering from cancer.
24. White, in a way : ANGLO
A white person is sometimes referred to as an “Anglo”. Anglo is short for Anglo-American, a white North American not of Hispanic or French descent.
26. Sp. misses : SRTAS
Misses in Spain are senoritas.
30. “House” actor : EPPS
Omar Epps is the actor who plays Dr. Eric Foreman on the excellent television series “House”. Prior to playing Dr. Foreman, Epps had a recurring role playing Dr. Dennis Grant on “ER”. And, in another link to the world of medicine, Epps was born in Savannah, Georgia to single mom, Dr. Bonnie Epps.
32. Statesman of old Athens : SOLON
Solon was an Athenian statesman and lawmaker in Ancient Greece. He gave his name to our contemporary word “solon” meaning “a wise lawmaker”.
34. “Comin’ ___ the Rye” : THRO
“Comin’ Thro the Rye” was the first novel of Ellen Buckingham Mathews, written under one of her pen names, Helen Mathers, and published in 1875. Mathews was a popular English novelist in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
35. British diaper : NAPPY
Here’s another word that I had to learn when I moved to America. What are called “diapers” over here, we call “nappies” back in Ireland. The term “diaper” is actually the original term that was used in England for the garment, where “diaper” referred to the cloth that was used. The term diaper was brought to the New World where it stuck. Back in Britain, diaper was displaced by the word “nappy”, a diminutive of “napkin”.
37. Pony or alligator : DANCE
The Pony was a dance that originated in the sixties, sparked off by a Chubby Checker song “Pony Time”.
The Alligator Dance was one of several dances connected to an animal spirit that are part of the Seminole culture. The Seminoles live in the state of Florida, so it’s not surprising perhaps that their collection of ritual dances includes the Snake Dance, the Crawfish Dance and the Alligator Dance.
39. Funny Philips : EMO
Emo Philips is a stand-up comedian from Chicago. He’s had a long and successful career, and listed on his resume is a small part in the 1992 hit movie “Meet the Parents”, as well his role of executive producer for that very same film. I’d say that made him a few pennies …
40. Memorable 10/1/75 event : ALI-FRAZIER FIGHT
Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier had three memorable fights. The first was billed as the “Fight of the Century” in 1971 in Madison Square Garden, a fight between two great boxers, both of whom were undefeated up till that point. Frazier won on a unanimous decision after fifteen rounds. A couple of years later, in 1973, Frazier lost his title to George Foreman. Ali and Frazier had a non-title rematch in 1974, with Ali coming out ahead this time, also on a unanimous decision. Later that year, Ali grabbed back the the World Heavyweight Title in “The Rumble in the Jungle”, the famous “rope-a-dope” fight against George Foreman. That set the stage for the third and final fight between Ali and Frazier, “The Thrilla in Manila“. Ali won the early rounds, but Frazier made a comeback in the middle of the fight. Ali took control at the end of the bout, so much so that Frazier wasn’t able to come out of his corner to fight the 15th and final round. He couldn’t come out of his corner because both of his eyes were swollen shut.
44. Like some anteaters : SPINY
There are four species of spiny anteater, all of which are egg-laying mammals. Along with the platypus, these four species are the only living mammals that lay eggs. The spiny anteater therefore, a native of New Guinea and Australia, is no relation to the “true” anteaters found in North and South America. But, they do eat ants!
45. Brewer Bernhard : STROH
Bernard Stroh was the son of a German brewer. He immigrated to the US in 1848, and set up his own brewery in 1850, in Detroit. Years later, the Stroh Brewing Company introduced a European process called fire-brewing. This results in higher temperatures at a crucial stage in the brewing process, supposedly bringing out flavor. Stroh’s is the only American beer that still uses this process. However, over the long term, the company did not do well, and it was acquired by Pabst in 1999. You can still buy beer that has Stroh’s on the label though.
46. Humdinger : ONER
A humdinger, or a oner, is someone or something outstanding. Humdinger is American slang dating back to the early 1900s, originally used to describe a particularly attractive woman.
50. Take out : DELE
Dele is the editorial instruction to delete something from a document, and is often written in red.
53. Kind of printer : LASER
The key features of a laser printer are that it uses plain paper, and produces quality text at high speed. Laser printers work by projecting a laser image of the printed page onto a rotating drum, coated with photoconductors (material that becomes conductive when exposed to light). The part of the drum exposed to the laser carries a different charge than the unexposed areas. Dry ink (called toner) sticks to the unexposed areas due to electrostatic charge. The toner is transferred to paper by contact and is fused to the paper with heat. So, that explains why paper coming out of a laser printer is warm, and sometimes powdery …
60. Bed piece? : PAJAMA
Our word “pajamas” comes to us from the Indian subcontinent, where “pai jamahs” were loose fitting pants, tied at the waist, that were worn at night by locals and eventually the Europeans living there. And “pajamas” is another of those words that I had to learn to spell differently when I came to America. In the British Isles the spelling is “pyjamas”.
63. Nickname for racer Dale Earnhardt Sr., so called because of his stubbornness : IRON HEAD
Dale Earnhardt, Sr. was known for his aggressive driving style earning him the nickname “the Intimidator”. He was stubborn too, and also had the nickname “Iron Head”. Earnhardt died in a crash in the 2001 Daytona 500.
67. With 62-Down, 40-Across loser’s nickname : SMOKIN’
62. See 67-Across : JOE
Smokin’ Joe Frazier not only held the World Heavyweight Championship, but back in 1964 he won a gold medal in the 1964 Olympics Games. Joe later took the medal and cut it into eleven pieces and divided it between his eleven children.
70. “___ up!” (game cry) : ANTE
You need to “ante up” if you want to play (poker, say).
71. 40-Across ending, for short : TKO
In boxing (and other sports), a knockout (KO) is when one of the fighters can’t get up from the canvas within a specified time, usually 10 seconds. This can be due to fatigue, injury, or the participant may be truly “knocked out”. A referee, fighter, or doctor may also decide to stop a fight without a knockout having taking place, especially if there is concern about a fighter’s safety. In this case, the bout is said to have been ended by a technical knockout (TKO).
3. Where the 40-Across was held : PHILIPPINES
When the Spanish explorer Ruy Lopez de Villalobos discovered the islands of Leyte and Samar, he called them Felipinas, after King Philip II of Spain. Eventually, the name was used for the whole archipelago.
4. Big appliance maker : AMANA
The Amana Corporation takes its name from the location of its original headquarters, in Middle Amana, Iowa.
6. Brazil’s ___ José Bay : SAO
Sao Jose Bay, Baía de São José in Portuguese, is in the northeastern part of Brazil.
7. 40-Across, familiarly : THRILLA IN MANILA
8. Pop group whose first Top 40 album was, appropriately, “Arrival” : ABBA
I am an unapologetic fan of ABBA’s music. ABBA was of course the Swedish group that topped the charts in the seventies and eighties. The name ABBA is an acronym formed from the first letters of the given names of each of the band members, namely: Agnetha, Benny, Bjorn and Anni-Frid.
9. Musical equipment popularized in the 1960s : MOOGS
Robert Moog invented the Moog Synthesizer in the sixties, 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 …
11. The Louisville ___ (40-Across winner’s nickname) : LIP
Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. was born in 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky. He changed his name to Muhammad Ali when he converted to Islam in 1964. Who can forget Muhammad Ali lighting the Olympic flame for the 1996 games in Atlanta? Ali won a gold medal in the 1960 Games, which he threw into the Ohio River after being refused service at a “whites only” restaurant. He was presented with a replacement medal during the 1996 Games.
13. Cabinet dept. : AGR
The US Department of Agriculture dates back to 1862, when it was established by then-president Abraham Lincoln.
15. Time spent on la Côte d’Azur : ETE
The Côte d’Azur is on the Mediterranean coast of France, stretching from Saint Tropez in the west, to the Italian border in the east. In English we often refer to the area as the French Riviera. It’s a little crowded for me (okay, expensive), especially in the summer (ete in French).
21. Silvery fish : MOONEYES
Mooneyes are so called because they have a gold or silver shine in their eyes.
22. Cicero or Publius : SENATOR
Cicero was a very influential senator in Ancient Rome, in part due to his renowned ability to deliver a persuasive speech.
Publius was a very common name in Ancient Rome, meaning “public”. One of the more famous with the name was Publius Clodius Thrasea Paetus, a senator and Stoic philosopher who lived during the reign of the Emperor Nero.
23. Iridescent : OPALINE
Something that is iridescent, like an opal, has a lot of lustrous colors. “Iridescent” comes from the Latin word “iris” (“iridis” in the genitive case), the word for “rainbow”.
25. 164-foot-tall movie star : GODZILLA
Godzilla is a Japanese invention for the movies. The first in a very long series of films was released way back in 1954. The original name in Japanese was “Gojira”, but this was morphed in Godzilla for audiences around the world. “Gojira” is a combination of “gorira” and “kujira”, the Japanese words for gorilla and whale, apt because Godzilla is a big ape-like creature that came out of the deep.
27. 40-Across winner’s nickname : THE GREATEST
31. Block letters? : SPF
In theory, the Sun Protection Factor, is a calibrated measure of the effectiveness of a sunscreen in protecting the skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun. The idea is that if you wear a lotion with SPF say of 20, then you will need 20 times as much UV radiation to cause the skin to burn with lotion on, than without it. I say, just stay out of the sun …
33. A.T.M. maker : NCR
NCR is an American company that has been in business since 1884, and was originally called the National Cash Register Company. The company has done well in a market where new technologies seem to be constantly disrupting the status quo.
42. “___ be my pleasure” : ITD
It’d, it would, be my pleasure.
59. “___ Walks in Beauty” (Byron poem) : SHE
“She Walks in Beauty” is one of the most famous poems written by Lord Byron. The poem is very descriptive of an elegant and beautiful woman. He wrote it the day after seeing his cousin, who was in mourning, walking by in a black dress set with spangles. The opening lines are:
“She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies”
George Gordon Byron, known simply as “Lord Byron”, was an English poet active in the early 1800s. He was equally as famous for his poetry as he was for the wild excesses in his personal life. He lived much of his life outside of England, and fought for revolutionaries in both Italy and Greece, and indeed died from a fever contracted while fighting against the Ottomans in Greece.
60. Letter endings: Abbr. : PSS
One adds a PS (postscriptum) at the end of a letter. A second postscriptum (or postscript) is a post postscriptum, a PPS.
61. Speaker’s place : AMP
An electric guitar, for example, needs an amplifier to take the weak signal created by the vibration of the strings and turn it into a powerful enough signal for a loudspeaker.
62. See 67-Across : JOE
66. “In excelsis ___” : DEO
“Gloria in excelsis Deo” is the title of Latin hymn, which translates as “Glory to God in the highest”.