THEME: HEXAGON … there six SIDES to the puzzle, six occurrences of the word SIDE on the left and right of the grid. Each SIDE is used in longer word that continues at right-angles to the word SIDE i.e. SIDEWALK SALE, THE FAR SIDE, SIDESWIPE, STATESIDE, SIDEWINDER, MOUNTAINSIDE
COMPLETION TIME: 18m 24s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
1. It began commercial service in ’76 : SST
The most famous SuperSonic Transport (SST) was the Concorde, all of which are now grounded. Concorde had that famous “droop nose”. The nose was moved to the horizontal position during flight to create the optimum aerodynamic shape thereby reducing drag. The nose was lowered during taxi, takeoff and landing, so that the pilot had better visibility. The need for the droop nose was driven largely by the delta-shaped wings on Concorde. The delta wing necessitates a higher angle of attack at takeoff and landing than conventional wing designs, so the pilot needed the nose lowered so that he or she could see the ground.
4. Chinese dynasty at the time of Christ : HAN
The Han Dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China and lasted from 206 BC to 220 AD. It came after the Qin Dynasty, and before the Three Kingdoms.
“The Far Side” is a cartoon series drawn by Gary Larson. It ran from 1980 to 1995, and continues today in reruns in many papers. A lot of “The Far Side” cartoons feature animals, often in outrageous, human-like situations. Larson was so popular with people working with animals, that in 1989 an newly discovered insect species was names Strigiphilus garylarsoni. How cool is that?
14. 1983 Randy Newman song : I LOVE LA
Randy Newman is a singer/songwriter, most famous for his movie scores in the past three decades. Film scores included on his resume include “The Natural“, “Meet the Parents” and all the “Toy Story” movies from Pixar. Also on his resume are songs that he wrote, but were made hits by others. Included in this list are “You Can Leave Your Hat On” (Joe Cocker & Tom Jones) and “Mama Told Me Not to Come” (Three Dog Night).
16. Brazier : HIBACHI
The traditional hibachi in Japan is a heating device, often a ceramic bowl or box that holds burning charcoal. This type of hibachi isn’t used for cooking, but as a space heater (a brazier). Here in the US we use the term hibachi to refer to a charcoal grill used as a small cooking stove, which in Japanese would be called a “shichirin”.
17. Thingamajigs : DEVICES
Words like thingumbob and thingamajig mean things for which the name is forgotten, and have been around since the 18th and 19th century.
19. – : EWALKSALE
21. Fair-hiring inits. : EOE
An Equal Opportunity Employer.
22. Silverstein who wrote “The Giving Tree” : SHEL
Author Shel Silverstein had a varied career, and did more than write books. He was a poet, composer, cartoonist and screenwriter among other things. “The Giving Tree” is a children’s book of his that was published in 1964. It tells of a young boy who has a special relationship with a tree in a forest. The message of the book seems to be that the tree provides the little boy with everything he needs.
27. Mattress brand : SERTA
Serta was founded in 1931 by a group of 13 mattress manufacturers coming together, essentially forming a cooperative. Today, the company is owned by eight independent licensees, in a similar arrangement. Interesting …
30. In America : STATES
33. – : SIDE
37. Quaker product : OH’S
There used to be two varieties of Oh’s made by Quaker Oats Company. One was Honey Nut Oh’s, later known as Crunchy Nut Oh’s, but it was phased out. The second type was called Crunchy Graham Oh’s, and is still available today as Honey Graham Oh’s.
38. “Star Wars” surname : KENOBI
Sir Alec Guinness has played many great roles over a long a distinguished career, but nowadays is best known (sadly, I think) for playing the original Obi-Wan Kenobi in “Star Wars“. In the prequel “Star Wars” trilogy, the young Obi-Wan is played by another British (actually Scottish) actor, Ewan McGregor.
39. Like “be”: Abbr. : IRR
The verb “to be” doesn’t follow the rules for a regular verb, so is irregular. I am, you are, he/she/it is and we are, you are, they are.
40. Figure that shares a property with this puzzle : HEXAGON
A hexagon has six sides, and so does this crossword’s grid, six answers that are SIDE.
42. Mercury or Saturn : GOD
Mercury was a Roman god, the messenger, and the god of trade. His name comes from the Latin word “merx” meaning merchandise (and therefore has the same roots as “merchant” and “commerce”). Saturn was also a Roman deity, the god of agriculture and harvest. The planet, and “Saturday” are named after Saturn, the god.
43. Harmonic singing style : DOO-WOP
Doo-wop developed in the 1940s, and can be described as a vocal-based R&B music. Even though the style has been around since the forties, the name doo-wop wasn’t introduced until the early sixties.
45. Member of the Be Sharps on “The Simpsons” : APU
In one episode of “The Simpsons”, there appears a barbershop quartet that was founded by Homer Simpson, a group that has a history similar to that of the Beatles. The episode was recorded back in 1993, so George Harrison was around to make a guest appearance in a crowd scene as himself. The Be Sharps members are Homer Simpson, Principal Skinner, Barney Gumble and Apu Nahasapeemapetilon. The actual singing voices were provided by the Dapper Dans, a real-life quartet from Disneyland in Anaheim.
47. – : ESWIPE
48. Page of music : PATTI
Patti Page is the stage name of Clara Ann Fowler, the best-selling female artist in the 1950s. Patti Page’s signature song is “Tennessee Waltz“, a big hit for her that spent 13 weeks at number one in the charts in 1950. She also had a number one with “(How Much Is That) Doggie in the Window” in 1953.
50. Michelin Man makeup : TIRES
The Michelin Man‘s “real” name is Bibendum. He takes the name from the Latin phrase from Horace’s “Odes”, “Nunc est bibendum”meaning “Now, let’s drink!”. That phrase was used on the original advertising poster published by Michelin in 1898.
52. “___ Anything” (“Oliver!” song) : I’D DO
“Oliver!” is a British musical that first played in London’s West End in 1960, followed by a long run on Broadway starting in 1963. And there was the fabulous movie adaptation released in 1968. The musical was of course based on the Charles Dickens novel “Oliver Twist“. The original London show launched the careers of some famous names, including Davy Jones of the Monkees, Alan Paul of Manhattan Transfer, and Phil Collins of Genesis!
55. Reggae relative : 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.
58. Where marmots and chamois live : MOUNTAINS
Marmots are large, ground squirrels. Included in the genus of marmots is the famous groundhog.
The chamois is a goat-antelope species native to some European mountain ranges. The skin of the chamois is used to make real chamois leather, often imitated. Chamois leather is very soft, often used for making gloves, and for polishing prized metallic objects.
66. Composer Antonio : SALIERI
If you’ve seen the brilliant 1984 movie “Amadeus“, you’ll have seen Salieri portrayed as being very envious and resentful of the gifted Mozart. It is no doubt true that two composers fought against each other, at least on occasion, but the extent of the acrimony between the two has perhaps been exaggerated in the interest of theater. Mozart and his wife had six children, but only two survived infancy. The youngest boy was called Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart, born just five months before his father died. Franz was to become a gifted composer, teacher, pianist and conductor, helped along the way by lessons from his father’s supposed rival, Antonio Salieri.
67. Nixon policy : DETENTE
Detente is a French word meaning “loosening” and in general it’s used to describe the easing of strained relations in a political situation. In particular, the policy of detente has come to be associated with the improved relations between the US and the Soviet Union in the seventies, initiated during the Nixon administration.
69. – : EWINDER
70. ___ Peres (St. Louis suburb) : DES
Des Peres, Missouri takes its name from the River Des Peres, which doesn’t actually flow through the city, although two tributaries do. The river’s name translates to “River of the Fathers”, a reference to a mission of Catholic priests that lived nearby.
71. Work of Alexander Pope : ODE
Alexander Pope was an English poet, famous for his own compositions, as well as for a translation of Homer. One of his famous poems is “Ode on Solitude” that opens with:
“Happy the man, whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air,
In his own ground.”
Pope wrote that when he was just twelve years old …
1. Outdoor retail promotion : SIDE
19. – : EWALKSALE
3. Feldshuh of “Brewster’s Millions” : TOVAH
Tovah Feldshuh is an American actress, who first experienced real celebrity after playing Helena Slomova in the mini-series “Holocaust” in 1978. She had the leading role in “Yentl” on Broadway, a role later to be played by Barbra Streisand on the big screen. She also appeared in the 1985 movie version of “Brewster’s Millions” alongside Richard Pryor.
4. Disturb a stand-up routine : HECKLE
The original use of “heckle” was to mean questioning severely, and for many years was associated with the public questioning of parliamentary candidates in Scotland. In more recent times, that questioning is a little less polite, and directed at comics.
6. Nimbus launcher of 1964 : NASA
The Nimbus program involved the launching of seven weather satellites starting back in 1964, with launches continuing over the next fourteen years. The satellites led to huge advances in weather forecasting, as well as understanding of solar radiation hitting the planet, the ozone layer, and distribution of sea ice. The Nimbus satellites also provided an early form of global positioning that was used in search and rescue. Cool program …
7. Number that looks like the letter yogh : THREE
The letter “yogh” was used in Middle English. It resembles the number 3, so in modern reproductions of Middle English, the character “3” is often used to represent yogh.
8. Step on it : HIE
To hie is to move quickly, to bolt.
10. Carrier overseer, for short : FAA
The Federal Aviation Administration.
11. “Roméo et Juliette” section : ACTE
“Acte” is the French for “act”.
12. Stat starter : RHEO
A rheostat is an electrical device that can offer a varying degree of resistance to current flow. The English physicist Sir Charles Wheatstone first coined the term, using the Greek “rheos” meaning “flowing stream” and “stat” meaning “regulating device”.
13. – : SIDE
20. Type of terrier : LHASA APSO
The Lhasa apso breed of dog originated in Tibet, and is named after Lhasa (the capital city) and apso (a Tibetan word meaning “bearded”). The Lhasa apso has been around since 800 BC, and is one of the oldest breeds in the world, one very closely related to the ancestral wolf.
26. “___ Can Cook” (former cooking show) : YAN
“Yan Can Cook” was a PBS show about Chinese cooking presented by Martin Yan. Yan is Chinese-born American who arrived in the US via Hong Kong and Canada. Although his own show doesn’t run anymore, he still makes TV appearances, and has been a judge several times on “Iron Chef America”.
28. Critic who’s a real thumb-body? : ROEPER
Richard Roeper is columnist and film critic for “The Chicago Sun-Times”, and came to national attentions when he replaced Gene Siskel as co-host with Roger Ebert on the famous film review TV show. Roeper started work with Ebert in 2000, after Siskel died in 1999. Roeper stayed with the show right though 2008, even though Ebert had to bow out in 2006 as he recovered from cancer surgery.
What’s a thumb-body? I think there’s a bit of humor here and “thumb-body” is meant to be “somebody” said with a lisp. That would be my guess anyway. The “thumb” reference is to the technique that Ebert & Roeper used to grade movies, “thumbs up” or “thumbs down”.
29. Quick expression of gratitude : THX
Thx is “thanks” in text-speak, emails, instant messages etc.
31. Caesar dressing? : TOGA
In Ancient Rome the classical attire known as a toga was usually worn over a tunic. The tunic was made of linen, and the toga itself was a piece of cloth about twenty feet long made of wool. The toga could only be worn by men (the female equivalent was called a “stola”) and only if they were Roman citizens.
32. Like ink, poetically : EBON
Ebony is another word for the color black (often shortened to “ebon” in poetry). Ebony is a dark, black wood that is very dense. In fact, it is one of the few types of wood that sinks in water. Ebony has been in high demand, and the species of trees yielding the wood are now considered threatened. It’s in such short supply, that unscrupulous vendors have been known to darken lighter woods with shoe polish, so watch out …
33. – : SIDE
34. Graze, in a way : SIDE
47. – : ESWIPE
35. Olympic archer : EROS
As always seem to be the case, the Greek gods Eros and Aphrodite have overlapping spheres of influence. Aphrodite was the goddess of love between a man and a woman, but Eros was the god who stirred the passions of the male.
36. Be exultant : CROW
The verb “to crow” meaning “to exult in triumph” is imitative of the sound made by a crow, as it settles over some dead animal that it has found …
40. Uto-Aztecan language : HOPI
Hopi is the name of the language spoken by the Hopi people, a Pueblo group of Native Americans living in northeastern Arizona. Hopi is one of the Uto-Aztecan languages, a group of similar languages that are found in the western and southeastern US as well as much of Mexico.
41. Valedictorian’s pride: Abbr. : GPA
A valediction is an act of taking one’s leave, from the Latin “vale dicere”, to say farewell. An example of a valediction would be the words “yours truly” at the end of a letter. And of course, the valedictorian (here in the US anyway) is the student in a graduating class that is chosen to say the final words at the graduation ceremony, a farewell to the classmates.
51. Foreign dignitary : EMEER
In English, emir can also be written as emeer, amir and ameer (watch out for those spellings in crosswords!).
53. Muralist Rivera : DIEGO
Diego Rivera was a Mexican painter, famous for his murals. His wife was an equally famous Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo.
54. One way to turn right : ON RED
Right turn on red is not at all the standard around the world, and isn’t allowed in most countries (or left on red, if one drives on the other side of the road). I must admit, right on red was a bit of a shock to me when I moved here many moons ago, as I had never heard of such a practice. One place in the US where right on red is not allowed, is New York City. In fact, right on red wasn’t standard practice anywhere in the Eastern US, until it was introduced in the seventies to save fuel in the days of the fuel crises of 1973 and 1979. Right on red has been standard in the western US for over 50 years.
Sidewinder is a common name given to the a few species of venomous snakes native to the desert areas of the southwest. One characteristic of the sidewinder is a pair of scales that stick up over the eyes. These projections can look like horns, so the sidewinder can also be called the horned rattlesnake. The “sidewinder”name comes from the unusual way that the snake moves over sandy desert terrain. The motion is called “side winding” and involves thrusting the head forward and dragging the body behind, leaving J-shaped impressions in the sand.
57. Palio di ___ (Italian horse race) : ASTI
The Palio di Asti is an Italian festival dating back to medieval times, with the highlight being a bareback horse race. The name of the race comes from its location, Asti, and “palio”, the name of a rectangular sheet of cloth awarded to the winner of the race. Yoo hoo! Rectangular cloth …
60. “The ___ Game” (1965 Shirley Ellis hit) : NAME
Shirley Ellis is a soul music singer, famous for her novelty songs, “The Clapping Song” from 1965, and “The Name Game” from 1964. “The Name Game” is also called “The Banana Song”, and is really a children’s singalong rhyming game. But, it was a big, pop hit all the same.
61. – : SIDE
63. Put down, in a way : PEN
Write it down!
64. Colts, on a scoreboard : IND
The Indianapolis Colts professional football team has been in Indiana since 1984. The team traces its roots back to the Dayton Triangles, one of the founding members of the NFL created in 1913. The Dayton Triangles relocated and became the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1930, and then the Brooklyn Tigers in 1944. The team merged with the Boston Yanks in 1945, playing in Boston, The Yanks were moved to New York in 1949, and then to Dallas in 1952 as the Dallas Texans. The Texan franchise moved to Baltimore in 1953, the Colts. The Colts made their last move, to Indianapolis, in 1984. Whew!