THEME: Home to the Stars … all the theme answers are well-known phrases or terms, that sound like celebrity abodes i.e. (Jodie) FOSTER HOME, (Victoria) PRINCIPAL RESIDENCE, (Donna) SUMMER PLACE, (Sally) FIELD HOUSE
COMPLETION TIME: 5m 31s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
5. Scarlett whose final film words are “I’ll never be hungry again” : O’HARA
As casting proceeded for the movie version of “Gone With the Wind”, Clark Gable was a shoo-in from day one. The role of Scarlett was considered very desirable in the acting community, with Bette Davis on the short list, and Katherine Hepburn demanding an appointment with producer David O. Selznick to discuss the role. Vivien Leigh was an unlikely contender, an English actress for the definitive Southern belle role. Selznick was adamant though, and stuck by his choice despite a lot of protests.
10. Dame Hess at a piano : MYRA
Myra Hess was a British pianist, who earned the title of Dame due to her efforts to uphold morale in WWII. During the war, all concerts were suspended due to blackout restrictions, so Myra Hess organized 1700 concerts that took place at lunchtimes throughout the conflict.
14. What to call a king : SIRE
“Sire” is derived from the Latin word “senior” and was an honorific for a knight dating back to about 1200 (Sire Lancelot, for example). Within a few years it came to be used as a standalone alternative for “your majesty”.
15. Caution light’s color : AMBER
The first traffic lights date back to 1868. They were installed in England, outside the Houses of Parliament in London. They resembled the signals already in use for trains, with semaphore arms and red and green gas lamps for nighttime use. It was of course operated manually, by a policeman at the base. Sadly, one police officer was killed just one year after its installation, when the gas system exploded.
The wonderful Jodie Foster got her big break in movies very early on her life, playing a very young prostitute in Martin Scorcese’s 1976 film “Taxi Driver”. Sadly, her appearance in “Taxi Driver” led to her being stalked by an obsessed John Hinckley, Jr. Hinckley called Foster on the phone, sent her love letters, and followed her on campus while she was attending Yale. In 1981, Hinckley famously shot and wounded President Reagan, claiming that he believed an assassination of the President would impress Foster.
22. ___ de cologne : EAU
Back in 1709, an Italian perfume-maker moved to Cologne in Germany. There he invented a new fragrance that he named Eau de Cologne after his newly adopted hometown. The fragrance is still produced in Cologne, using a secret formulation. However, the terms Eau de Cologne and cologne, are now used generically.
Victoria Principal’s most famous role, by far, was that of Pam Ewing on the TV show “Dallas”. As a young woman, Principal went to college to study medicine, but after the first year she was seriously injured in a car crash by a drunk driver. She spent months recovering and when faced with the prospect of taking her first year of study over again, she decided instead to move to New York city to study acting. She made it as an actress …
30. Ernie on the links : ELS
Ernie Els is a South African golfer. He’s a big guy, but he has an easy, fluid golf swing that has earned him the nickname “The Big Easy”. Els has a child who suffers from autism, and he has been very effective raising money for charities that focus on the condition.
35. Weekly TV show with guest hosts, for short : SNL
NBC first aired a form of “Saturday Night Live” in 1975, under the title “NBC’s Saturday Night”. The show was actually created to give Johnny Carson some time off from “The Tonight Show”. In those days, “The Tonight Show” had a weekend episode, and Carson convinced NBC to pull the Saturday or Sunday episodes off the air and hold them for subsequent weeknights in which Carson needed a break. NBC turned to Lorne Michaels and asked him to pull together a variety show to fill the vacant slot … “Saturday Night Live”.
Donna Summer is known as “The Queen of Disco”, with hits like “Love to Love You, Baby”, “I Feel Love” and “Hot Stuff”. In the late sixties and early seventies, LaDonna Gaines (her real name) lived and worked in Germany. There she met and married an Austrian actor called Helmuth Sommer. They divorced not long after the marriage, but Donna kept his family name, just changing the “o” to “u”, giving her a stage name “Donna Summer”.
49. Rachel Maddow’s network : MSNBC
You used to be able to listen to “The Rachel Maddow Show” on Air America Radio before it went bust, Now you can see her on a TV show with the same name, every night on MSNBC. Maddow is the first openly gay anchor to host a prime-time news program in the US.
53. See 24-Across : RESIDENCE
55. Co. with a lot of connections? : ISP
An Internet Service Provider is just what its name indicates, a company that provides its customers with access to the Internet. One way that ISPs differentiate themselves from each other is in the way that the end users are connected to the ISPs network. So, there are cable ISPs, DSL ISPs, dial-up ISPs and satellite ISPs. I’d go with cable if it’s available in your area …
56. Inexact no. : EST
An estimate is an inexact number.
58. Multigenerational stories : SAGAS
“Saga” is an Old Norse word for a “story”.
A field house (or fieldhouse) is another word for an indoor sports arena.
Sally Field first came to the public’s attention in the sixties with title roles in the TV shows “Gidget” and “The Flying Nun”. She has two Best Actress Oscars; one for “Norma Rae” (1979) and one for “Places in the Heart” (1984).
64. Starchy tropical root : TARO
I am a big fan of starch, and being an Irishman I love potatoes however they are prepared. That said, I think that poi tastes horrible! Poi is made from the bulbous tubers (corm) of the taro plant, by cooking the corm in water and mashing it until the desired consistency is achieved.
66. Camel caravan’s stop : OASIS
The most famous oasis in the US is … Las Vegas, in the middle of the Mojave Desert.
67. “You too?” à la Caesar : ET TU
Shakespeare uses the words “Et tu, Brute” (And you, Brutus?) in his play “Julius Caesar”, but the phrase was around long before he used it. It’s not known what Julius Caesar’s actual last words were.
2. Scroogelike : MISERLY
“Miser” is Latin, an adjective meaning “unhappy, wretched”, obviously giving us our word “miserable”. The original use of “miser” was to describe a miserable person, and before long the assumption was that the misery was caused by unhappiness associated with hoarding money.
4. Many a family car : SEDAN
The American sedan car, is the equivalent to the British saloon car. By definition, a sedan car has two rows of seating, and a separate trunk (boot in the UK), although in some models the engine can be at the rear of the car.
11. Royal attendant in a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta : YEOMAN
“The Yeomen of the Guard” is an operetta by Gilbert & Sullivan, first performed in 1888. The work was immediately a big hit, and ran for 423 performances. Many regard the score to “The Yeomen of the Guard” as Arthur Sullivan’s finest.
In one use of the word, a yeoman is a lower level official or attendant in a royal household. A famous group of yeomen are the Yeoman Warders of the Tower of London. The role is ceremonial these days, theoretically safeguarding the crown jewels and guarding any prisoners in the Tower. More correctly, the Yeoman Warders are called Beefeaters, but no one is really sure why! If you get over to London, the Yeoman Warders will be your tour guide around the Tower of London … a great day out!
29. Around, in a date : CIRCA
“Circa” is a Latin word meaning “around, near, about the time of”. We use it directly in English, as well as derivative words such as “circle” and “circus”.
36. Cover story : ALIBI
“Alibi” is the Latin word for “elsewhere”, as in I “claim” that I was “elsewhere” when the crime was committed … I have an “alibi”.
39. Bowlers’ targets : PINS
Bowling has been around for an awfully long time. The oldest known reference to the game is in Egypt, where pins and balls were found in an ancient tomb that is over 5,000 years old. The first form of the game to come to America was nine-pin bowling, which had been very popular in Europe for centuries. In 1841 in Connecticut, the nine-pin bowling was banned due to its association with gambling. Supposedly, an additional pin was added to get around the ban, and ten-pin bowling was born.
44. Former Web reference from Microsoft : ENCARTA
Microsoft badly wanted to get into the online encyclopedia business in the eighties, and approached the biggest and the best, “Encyclopaedia Britannica”. “Britannica” declined, fearing that an online version would damage their print sales. Of course, “Britannica” had to sell eventually, but not to Microsoft, as the inevitable decline in print sales happened anyway. So Microsoft made a deal with “Funk & Wagnalls”, and started publishing “Encarta” in disk form in the early nineties. Usage of Encarta grew, until, along came Wikipedia. Encarta was discontinued in at the end of 2009, with just the online dictionary surviving, as an online offering.
46. Nintendo product for the gym-averse, maybe : WII FIT
Wii Fit is popular, very popular. It’s the third bestselling console “game” in history, with over 20 million sold. Wii Fit uses the Wii Balance Board for much of its functionality, on which the user stands.
49. Wild-riding squire of “The Wind in the Willows” : MR TOAD
Mr. Toad is one of the main characters in the children’s novel “The Wind in the Willows” by Kenneth Graham. A. A. Milne (of “Winnie the Pooh” fame) wrote several plays based on “The Wind in the Willows”, the first of which is “Toad of Toad Hall”. And, Mr Toad’s Wild Ride was one of the original rides at Disneyland when the park opened in 1955.
50. Savings acct. alternatives : CDS
A certificate of deposit is sort of like a less flexible and higher paying savings account. Instead of depositing into a savings account, and earning interest periodically one can open a CD. With a CD one deposits a minimum amount of money, and must leave it there for a specified length of time. In return one is given a higher interest rate than a savings account, and can redeem that interest and the initial deposit when the term has expired. CDs are relatively low risk investments as they are FDIC insured, just like savings accounts.
61. Troops’ support grp. : USO
The United Service Organization was founded in 1941 at the request of FDR, “to handle the on-leave recreation of the men in the armed forces”. A USO tour is a tour by a troupe of entertainers, many who are big-name celebrities, to troop locations that often including combat zones.
62. Walter Raleigh or Walter Scott : SIR
Sir Walter Raleigh was an adventurer in the court of Queen Elizabeth I of England. He is famous for popularizing tobacco smoking Europe, and is remembered in the US by the state capitol of North Carolina, which is named after him. Raleigh is not very popular in Ireland as he spent many years there after crushing a rebellion and being awarded thousands of acres by the crown. It was in Ireland that he was famously doused by a servant who saw smoke emanating from his master as he enjoyed a pipe of tobacco.
Sir Walter Scott was a Scottish novelist and playwright, the first English-language author to gain popularity around the world during his own lifetime. The more famous of his works are “Ivanhoe”, “Rob Roy” and “The Lady of the Lake”.