THEME: FANGS FOR THE MEMORY … The circled squares when joined together make the outline of a BAT, and there are lots of ghoulish, Halloween answers as well, including a host of scary movie titles.
COMPLETION TIME: 30m 03s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 4 … NAYA (NEYA), SAL (SEL), ABOU (ALOU), KALB (KALL)
1. Home of “Hardball” : MSNBC
“Hardball with Chris Matthews” is a nightly talk-show about politics, airing on MSNBC. The show’s host, Chris Matthews is a colorful character. Matthews served with the Peace Corps from 1968 to 1970, in Swaziland in Africa. He has been back to Africa since, and found himself hospitalized in 2002, suffering from malaria that he picked up on one of his trips.
11. Moolah : BREAD
Bread and moolah are slang terms for money.
21. Odd Fellows’ meeting place : LODGE
Back in the 18th century, people in the UK started to organize themselves into groups that provided mutual benefits for its members. These groups were called guilds, and often consisted of people that had a similar trade or calling. The idea behind the groups was to take care of its members in the days before trade unions, the welfare state and National Health Service. In smaller town and villages, there weren’t enough people in the same profession to pull together trade-centric guilds, so the groups were more mixed, and made up of “odd fellows”, members of varying backgrounds.
22. Kind of acid : AMINO
Amino acids are essential to life in many ways, not least of which is their use as the building blocks of proteins.
23. 1922 Max Schreck film : NOSFERATU
The full name in English of the 1922 German film starring Max Schreck is “Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror”. The movie is an adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel “Dracula”, but as they say, the names have been changed to protect the innocent. The studio could not get the rights to the novel, so changed some key words and names to avoid legal problems. “Nosferatu” is the name used in the film for “vampire”, and Count Dracula becomes “Count Orlok”.
25. Heavyweight : TITAN
The Titans were a group of twelve elder deities in Greek mythology. In the celebrated Battle of the Titans, they were overthrown by the young upstarts, the Olympians, twelve younger gods.
27. “Enough, Jorge!” : NO MAS
“No mas” translates from Spanish as “no more”.
31. ___ Balls (Hostess snack food) : SNO
The Hostess cakes called Sno Balls are usually pink in color, although in its original form each packets of two contained one white and one pink. Around Halloween you can buy Sno Balls in the form of Scary Cakes and Glo Balls that are colored orange and green. and on St. Paddy’s Day there’s a green one available. Yoo hoo!
32. As written : SIC
“Sic” indicates that a quote is written as originally found. “Sic” is Latin for “thus, like this”.
33. Tijuana table : MESA
“Mesa” is the Spanish for “table”. “Mesa” of course is how we get the name “mesa”, a geographic feature.
“What’s the difference between a butte and a mesa?” I hear you cry! Both are hills with flat tops, but a mesa has a top that is wider than it is tall. A butte is a much narrower formation, taller than it is wide. Now we know …
36. Parking spot : CURB
“Curb” is another of those words that I had to learn when I came to the US. We call it “kerb” on the other side of the Atlantic. Oh, and the “pavement”, that’s what we call the “footpath” (because the footpath is “paved”!). It’s very confusing when you arrive in this country from Ireland, and a little dangerous when one has been taught to “walk on the pavement” …
38. Actor McGregor : EWAN
Ewan McGregor is a very talented Scottish actor, who got his big break in the 1996 film “Trainspotting”. His first big Hollywood role was playing the young, Obi-Wan-Kenobi in the “Star Wars” prequels. Less known is his televised marathon motorcycle journey from London to New York, via central Europe, Ukraine, Siberia Mongolia and Canada. The 2004 trip was shown as “Long Way Round” on TV. McGregor did a similar trip in 2007 called “Long Way Down” which took him and the same travelling companion from the north of Scotland to Cape Town in South Africa.
40. “Beetle Bailey” dog : OTTO
Sgt. Snorkel id Beetle Bailey’s nemesis in the cartoon strip. Snorkel has a dog called Otto that he dresses up to look just like himself. He started off as a regular dog, but artist Mort Walker decide to make him more like his owner, and he became a big hit.
44. Lover of Isolde : TRISTAN
“Tristan und Isolde” is an epic opera by Richard Wagner (Wagner … not one of my favorites!). Many see it as the first serious move away from the traditional harmony and tonality of the classical and romantic eras. I say, he shouldn’t have bothered …
50. Cozy place? : TEA SHOP
You’ll find a few tea cozies around a tea shop, with pots of tea inside being kept warm. In England, it would be a tea “cosy” though.
52. Wagnerian opera setting : VALHALLA
In Norse mythology, Valhalla (“hall of the slain”) is a gigantic hall in the “world” of Asgard. Asgard and Valhalla are ruled by the god Odin, the chief Norse god. Valhalla appears in Wagner’s “Ring Cycle” of operas.
54. Crime scene matter : DNA
Forensic scientists use DNA, usually taken from blood, semen, skin, saliva or hair follicles. Often DNA left at a crime scene can be used to identify a perpetrator of a crime, in a process called genetic fingerprinting.
55. Saturnalia participants : FEASTERS
Saturnalia was a festival held in Ancient Rome in honor of the god Saturn. It was a week-long celebration of eating, drinking and merriment. One remarkable custom for the festival was the role-reversal that took place in some events, with slaves being waited on by the slave owners.
56. 1995 Eddie Murphy film : VAMPIRE IN BROOKLYN
The 1995 horror comedy film “Vampire in Brooklyn” is all about Eddie Murphy. Murphy wrote the script, plays the lead and two other roles. In one respect, “Vampire in Brooklyn” truly is a horror. During shotting, Stunt-woman Sonya Davis died from head injuries she incurred making a high fall.
61. Athenian porch : STOA
A stoa was a covered walkway in Ancient Greek architecture. It usually consisted of columns lining the side of a building or buildings, with another row of columns defining the other side of the walkway. The columns supported a roof. Often stoae would surround marketplaces in large cities.
63. Arctic herder : LAPP
Lapland is a geographic region in northern Scandinavia, largely found within the Arctic Circle. Parts of Lapland are in Norway, Sweden and Finland. The people who are native to the region are called the Sami people. The Sami don’t like to be referred to as Lapps, and regard the term as insulting.
66. Composer Ned : ROREM
American composer Ned Rorem is famous for his musical compositions, but also for his “Paris Diary of Ned Rorem” which was published in 1966. He talks openly about his sexuality in the book, but also about the sexuality of others including Noel Coward, Leonard Bernstein and Samuel Barber.
68. 1931 Bela Lugosi film : DRACULA
Bela Lugosi was a Hungarian stage and screen actor, best known for playing the title role in the 1931 film “Dracula”, and for playing the same role on Broadway. He found himself typecast for the rest of his career, and almost always played the role of the villain, often in horror movies. When he passed away in 1956, he wife had him buried in the costume he wore playing Count Dracula on Broadway.
73. Coolers, for short : ACS
77. “The Rights of Man” writer : PAINE
“Rights of Man” (actually, there is no “The” in the title) is a 1791 book by Thomas Paine, that argues in favor of a popular revolution when the government is deemed not to be protecting the rights of the people nor the national interst. As such, the book comes out heavily in favor of the French Revolution.
78. Mauna ___ : KEA
Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii, the peak of which is the highest point in the whole state. Mauna Kea is in effect the tip of a gigantic volcano rising up from the seabed. So, the real height of the volcano is over 33,000 feet, quite a bit higher than Mount Everest (at 29,029 feet).
80. Argentine article : UNA
“Una”, the Spanish for “a”.
82. Water brand : NAYA
The Naya brand of bottled water uses a spring in the Laurentian Mountains in Quebec as its source. Bottled water … don’t get me going …
84. [See instructions] : BAT
85. Cobb of “12 Angry Men” : LEE J
Lee J Cobb’s most famous film roles were in “12 Angry Men” released in 1957, and “On the Waterfront” released in 1954. Cobb found himself caught up in the net cast by the dreadful House Un-American Activities Committee, and was blacklisted when for two years he refused to testify. Finding himself penniless, and with five children to support, he eventually did appear in front of the committee, and named twenty former members of the Communist Party USA, just to survive.
89. Halloween cry : BOO
The name “Halloween” is a Scottish variant of the more complete name “All Hallows Eve”. That’s the night before All Hallows Day, more commonly known today as All Saints’ Day (November 1st).
92. When Italian ghouls come out? : SERA
Sera … the Italian for “evening”.
95. Bygone flightless bird : MOA
Moas were flightless birds native to New Zealand, and are now extinct. The fate of the Moa is a great example of the detrimental effect that humans can have on animal populations. The Maoris arrived in New Zealand about 1300 AD, upsetting the balance of the ecosystem. The Moa were hunted to extinction within 200 years, which in turn caused the extinction of the Haast’s Eagle, the Moa’s only predator prior to the arrival of man.
96. ___ Bator : ULAN
The name “Ulan Bator” translates from Mongolian as “the Red Hero”, and is Mongolia’s capital city. The city was named in recognition of Mongolia’s national hero, Damdin Sukhbaatar, who fought side-by-side with the Soviet Red Army in liberating the country from a White Russian warlord and the Chinese. Ulan Bator lies north of the Gobi Desert.
97. 1979 George Hamilton film : LOVE AT FIRST BITE
“Love at First Bite” is a comedy horror film from 1979, starring George Hamilton as Count Dracula. Hamilton is apparently very interested in making a sequel, one that already has the working title of “Batrimony: Love at Second Bite”.
108. Stage direction that means “alone” : SOLUS
“Solus” is the Latin word for “alone”.
113. 1987 Adrian Pasdar film : NEAR DARK
“Near Dark” is a 1987 vampire film that has quite a cult following. One unusual aspect to this vampire movie is that it is set in Oklahoma! It was co-written and directed by Kathryn Bigelow, who was the first woman to win the Best Director Oscar, in 2009 for “The Hurt Locker”.
116. ___ Tin Tin : RIN
The original Rin Tin Tin was an actual dog, a puppy found by a GI in a a bombed-out kennel in France during WWI. The soldier named the pup Rin Tin Tin, the same name as a puppet given to American soldiers for luck. On returning to the US, “Rinty”, was trained by his owner, and was spotted doing tricks by a film producer. Rinty featured in some films, eventually getting his first starring role in 1923 in the silent movie “Where the North Begins”. Legend has it that this first Rin Tin Tin died in the arms of actress Jean Harlow. Not a bad way to go …
117. 2008 Robert Pattinson film : TWILIGHT
I don’t do vampires. “The Twilight Saga” is a series of films based on the “The Twilight” series of books by Stephanie Meyer.
119. Bones also called cubiti : ULNAE
The radius and ulna are bones in the forearm. If you hold the palm of your hand up in front of you, the radius is the bone on the “thumb-side” of the arm, and the ulna is the bone on the “pinkie-side”.
123. Pianist/composer Schumann : CLARA
If you ever get the chance to see it, I highly recommend the movie 1947 “Song of Love“, a biopic about the lives of Robert Schumann and his extraordinary wife, Clara Wieck. Schumann is played by Paul Henreid (of “Casablanca” fame) and Clara is played wonderfully by Katherine Hepburn. Clara was an concert pianist, and as Katherine Hepburn was an accomplished pianist herself, you see Hepburn actually playing some challenging pieces herself at the keyboard (although the soundtrack does feature a professional player).
125. 1986 Brad Davis film : BLOOD TIES
“Blood Ties” is an Italian-produced film released in 1986, starring Brad Davis.
Brad Davis’s most famous role was in the 1978 movie “Midnight Express”. Sadly, Davis was diagnosed with AIDS in 1985, which led to his death in 1991. Just prior to his death, Davis checked himself out of hospital so that he could return home and die on his own terms. In the presence of his wife and a close friend, there he committed assisted suicide.
126. George who wrote “The Spanish Gypsy” : ELIOT
“The Spanish Gypsy” is the longest poem written by George Eliot, published in 1868. Eliot was the pen name of Mary Ann Evans, who used the male moniker so that her work would be taken seriously.
128. “___ Ben Adhem” : ABOU
Abou Ben Adhem, also known as Ibrahim Bin Adham, was an Arab Muslim saint. He was made famous in the western world with the publication in 1838 of the poem “Abou Ben Adhem” by James Henry Leigh Hunt, the English poet.
130. Many visitors to Legoland : DANES
Lego is manufactured by Lego Group, a privately held company headquartered in Billund, Denmark. The company was founded by a carpenter called Ole Kirk Christiansen, who had been making wooden toys in his workshop since 1932. The Lego company was created in 1934, and the now-famous plastic interlocking blocks were introduced in 1949 and sold as “Automatic Binding Bricks”. Lego is easier to remember! The company name comes from the Danish term “leg godt” meaning “play well”.
1. Coconut filler : MEAT
The part of the inside of a coconut that can be eaten, is known as the “meat”.
2. Acreage fig. : SQ MI
3. When French ghouls come out? : NUIT
“Nuit”, the French for “night”.
7. Crusoe’s creator : DEFOE
When Daniel Defoe wrote his marvelous 1719 novel called “Robinson Crusoe”, he was likely thinking of real-life Scottish castaway, Alexander Selkirk. Selkirk lived alone on the Pacific Island called “Mas a Tierra” off the coast of Chile, for four years. The island was officially renamed in 1966, to Robinson Crusoe Island.
10. Noted New York eatery : ELAINE’S
Elaine’s Bistro features in the Woody Allen movie, “Manhattan”.
“Manhattan” was released in 1979. The music of George Gershwin features prominently, which isn’t surprising as Woody Allen got the inspiration for the film from Gershwin’s compositions. The movie opens with a montage of images of Manhattan shown above Gershwin’s beautiful “Rhapsody in Blue”.
12. What Chippendale furniture was made in : ROCOCO STYLE
The Rococo style is also known as “Late Boroque”. It is a very floral and playful style, very ornate.
Thomas Chippendale was a London cabinet-maker, active during the English Ricoco period of the mid to late 18th century.
13. Cheese ball? : EDAM
One cheese that is recognized by its coating is Edam. Edam cheese takes the name after the Dutch town of Edam in North Holland. It is famous for its coating of red paraffin wax, a layer of protection that helps it travel well and prevents spoiling. You might occasionally come across an Edam cheese that is coated in black wax. This means that the underlying cheese has been aged for a minimum of 17 weeks.
14. “Slumdog Millionaire” locale : AGRA
The brilliant film “Slumdog Millionaire” is a screen adaptation of a 2005 novel by Indian author Vikas Swarup. This low-budget movie won eight Oscars in 2008. I reckon it turned a profit …
17. Gershwin’s “Concerto ___” : IN F
George Gershwin had exceptional success with his beautiful, pseudo-classical work, “Rhapsody in Blue”. He followed up that piece the following year (1925) with his “Concerto in F”, written for piano and full orchestra. Later in his life, Gershwin would receive formal classical training from some of the greats of classical music composition, but back in 1925 he taught himself the basics of concerto form, harmony and orchestration, all from books. The Concerto in F was premiered at Carnegie Hall by the New York Symphony Orchestra, with Gershwin himself at the piano. He was a remarkable man, that’s all I can say.
20. Maestro’s sign : CUE
A maestro, often a musical conductor, will give a sign to a musician, his or her cue.
33. “Jersey Shore” airer : MTV
“Jersey Shore” is yet another reality TV series, on MTV. The first season featured a group of eight friends sharing a house on the Jersey shore, and the second season had the same cadre warming themselves in a house down in Miami.
34. All alternative : ERA
All and Era are laundry detergents.
35. Medal of valor : SILVER STAR
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.
41. Bernard Malamud’s first novel : THE NATURAL
Bernard Malamud wrote the novel “The Natural”, published in 1952. It tells the story of a baseball player called Roy Hobbs, who gets shot early in his career and makes a remarkable comeback many years later. Although Roy Hobbs is a fictional character, the story is apparently based on the real-life Phillies player Eddie Waitkus, who was indeed shot in his hotel room by an obsessed fan in 1949. The film adaptation released in 1984 is an excellent movie starring Robert Redford as “The Natural”.
43. Saturn’s wife : OPS
Ops (also Opis) was the Roman equivalent of the Greek goddess Rhea. She was married to Saturn.
45. Souvenir from Scotland : TAM
A tam o’shanter is a man’s cap worn by Scotsmen. They were originally all blue (and called “blue bonnets”) but as dyes became more available, they became more colorful. The name tam o’shanter comes from the title character of Robert Burns poem “Tam O’Shanter”.
“High Crimes and Misdemeanors” outlines her case for the impeachment of President Clinton.
“Slander” argues that President George W. Bush was given unfair coverage by the media.
“Treason” is a reexamination of the Cold War, suggesting that the the extent of Communist infiltration was underestimated.
51. Communication syst. : ASL
It’s really quite unfortunate that American Sign Language (ASL) and British Sign Language (BSL) are very different, and someone who has learned to sign in one language, cannot understand someone signing in the other.
53. Longtime Yankee nickname : A-ROD
Poor old Alex Rodriguez earned more nicknames that just A-Rod. He has been called “the Cooler” by some players as there is a perception that teams go cold when he joins them, and hot when he leaves. He has also been called “A-Fraud” by teammates because of another perception, that he is over-demanding.
55. Roman squares : FORA
The Roman forum was the public space in the middle of a city, taking it’s name from the Latin word “forum” meaning a marketplace.
57. O.K. Corral figure : EARP
Wyatt Earp participated in what has to be the most famous gunfight in the history of the Old West, the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, in Tombstone, Arizona. Strangely enough, the fight didn’t happen at the O.K. Corral, but took place six doors down the street in a vacant lot next to a photography studio.
60. Epoch in which mammals arose : EOCENE
The Eocene Epoch lasted from 56 to 34 million years ago, and is noted for the emergence of the first mammals on the planet.
65. Female fowl : PEAHEN
The female peafowl, the peahen, has very dull plumage compared to the extravagant display on the tail of the peacock. The young of a peacock and peahen is known as a peachick (there’s a surprise!).
70. “Later!” : CIAO
“Ciao”, the Italian for “bye-bye”.
72. N.F.L. defensive lineman B. J. ___ : RAJI
Busair Raji, Jr. is a defensive lineman for the Green Bay Packers. Raji’s nickname is “Earthquake”.
75. ___ soda : SAL
Sodium carbonate is a well known a water softener, and is sold for use in laundry variously described as Sal Soda, Washing Soda and Soda Crystals.
78. Serving on a stick : KEBAB
The name “kebab” covers a wide variety of meat dishes that originated in Persia. In the West, we usually use “kebab” when talking about shish kebab, which is meat (often lamb) served on a skewer.
79. Sushi bar order : EEL
Sushi is a Japanese dish that has as its primary ingredient cooked, vinegared rice. The rice is usually topped with something, most often fish, and can be served in seaweed rolls. If you want raw fish by itself, then you have to order “sashimi”.
94. Units of cream: Abbr. : PTS
Pints of cream. Seems like a lot to me …
95. Slush pile contents: Abbr. : MSS
In the world of publishing, the “slush pile” is the heap of unsolicited manuscripts submitted by would-be writers.
99. Cold war broadcasting inits. : VOA
The US began shortwave propaganda broadcasts in early 1942, just after America entered WWII. The first broadcast to Germany was introduced by the “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and opened with the words:
“Today, and every day from now on, we will be with you from America to talk about the war. . . . The news may be good or bad for us — We will always tell you the truth.”
That first broadcast was called “Stimmen aus Amerika” (“Voices from America”), and gave the fledgling broadcasting operation its name. It is still going strong today, and was something I used to listen to as a teenager back in Ireland in the early seventies …
101. Epic translated by Alexander Pope : ILIAD
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 …
103. “Vous êtes ___” : ICI
“Vous êtes ici”, important words when navigating your way around Paris. It means, “You are here”.
106. Old-style fax : TELEX
Telex grew out of the world of the telegraph. What Telex brought to telegraphy was the ability to route messages. Instead of instructing an operator at the other end to route a particular message to the intended party, the operator of a telex could route the message directly to another telex machine by using a rotary dial, very similar to that on a telephone.
111. Spasm : THROE
Our contemporary word “throe”, meaning a spasm of pain, has been around since the early 1600s. It is a different spelling of the word “throwe” that had been around since around 1200 AD which meant pain, particularly a pang of childbirth or the agony of death. Pain, cradle to grave, I guess …
115. Newsman Marvin : KALB
Marvin Kalb is a journalist most famous for his 30-year stint reporting for CBS and NBC News. Kalb was the last person to be recruited by journalism icon Edward R. Murrow.
121. Ontario’s ___ Canals : SOO
A few months ago I spent a very interesting afternoon watching ships make their way through the Soo Locks and Soo canals that allow ships to travel between Lake Superior and the lower Great lakes. The name “Soo” comes from the US and Canadian cities on either side of the locks, Sault Ste. Marie.
122. “A ___ tardi” (“See you later,” in Italy) : PIU
“A più tardi” means literally “a little later” in Italian, and is used to say “see you later!”