Edited by: Will Shortz
We have some grid art today. Black squares in the left of the grid depict a HOOK, and in the right of the grid a CROOK. Caught in the HOOK is a FISH, and in the CROOK is a LAMB (shown by circled letters):
- 55A. Whatever it takes … as hinted at in the arrangements of black squares around the circled letters : BY HOOK OR BY CROOK
- 17A. Whatever it takes : ONE WAY OR ANOTHER
- 34A. Symbol of gentleness : LAMB
- 39A. Symbol of Christianity : FISH
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies
1. Diner staple, for short : BLT
The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) is the second most popular sandwich in the US, after the plain old ham sandwich.
9. Astronaut Kelly : SCOTT
Retired astronaut Scott Kelly spent a total of 520 days in space, including a year long (342 days) stint on the International Space Station (ISS). That One-Year Mission on the ISS was primarily undertaken to examine the health effects of long term spaceflight. Scott’s identical twin brother Mark Kelly participated in the health study as a control subject on the ground. Mark is also a retired astronaut, and Scott and Mark are the only siblings to have flown in space. Also, Mark is the husband of former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
21. Musician whose first name is a toy : YO-YO MA
Yo-Yo Ma is a marvelous American cellist who was born in Paris to Chinese parents. Ma started studying the violin when he was very young, working his way up (in size) to the viola and finally to the cello. He has said that he wanted to play the double bass, but it was just too big for his relatively small frame.
22. ___ trick : HAT
A hat trick is the scoring of three goals by the same player in a game of say, soccer or hockey.
23. Home to an annual Ideas Festival : ASPEN
Aspen, Colorado used to be known as Ute City, with the name change taking place in 1880. Like many communities in the area, Aspen was a mining town, and in 1891 and 1892 it was at the center of the highest production of silver in the US. Nowadays, it’s all about skiing and movie stars.
26. First name of the second vice president to resign from office : SPIRO
Spiro Agnew served as Vice-President under Richard Nixon, before becoming the only VP in American history to resign because of criminal charges (there was a bribery scandal). Agnew was also the first Greek-American to serve as US Vice President as he was the son of a Greek immigrant who had shortened the family name from Anagnostopoulos.
28. Mulching material : PEAT
Mulch is a layer of material applied by gardeners over the top of soil. The intent can be to retain moisture, to add nutrients, to reduce weed growth, or just to improve the look of the garden.
32. “Pagliacci” role : TONIO
“Pagliacci” (“The Clowns” in English) is an opera by Ruggero Leoncavallo that premiered in 1892 in Milan. Included in the opera is one of the most famous arias of all time, “Vesti la giubba” (“put on the costume”).
33. China’s ___ Dynasty : 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.
35. ___ Sound : PUGET
George Vancouver was a British explorer, and an officer in the Royal Navy. As well as exploring the coast of Australia, he is best known for his travels along the northwest coast of North America. The city of Vancouver was named in his honor. Travelling with him on his American voyage was a lieutenant Peter Puget, and in his honor, Vancouver named the waters south of the Tacoma Narrows “Puget’s Sound”. Nowadays, the name “Puget Sound” describes an area much greater than Vancouver had envisioned.
36. Hoary : OLD
The Old English word “har” meant “gray, venerable, old”, and came into English as “hoar” (and later “hoary”) with the same meaning. The term “hoar-frost” dates back to the 13th century, and reflects the similarity of the white feathers of frost to the gray/white of an old man’s beard.
39. Symbol of Christianity : FISH
The Ichthys was a secret Christian symbol used in the early church. The symbol is composed of two intersecting arcs and resembles the profile of a fish. The Ichthys reemerged in the early 1970s as an icon for modern Christianity, at which time it was given the nickname “Jesus Fish”. Many Christians nowadays place the symbol on the rear of their cars or wear it as a pendant.
41. Congested place, at times : SINUS
In anatomical terms a sinus is a cavity in tissue. Sinuses are found all over the body, in the kidney and heart for example, but we most commonly think of the paranasal sinuses that surround the nose.
42. Attraction at Boeing’s Museum of Flight, for short : SST
Supersonic transport (SST)
45. 2016 Disney film : MOANA
“Moana” is a 2016 animated feature film, the 56th animated Disney movie. The title character is the daughter of a Polynesian chief who heads off in search of the demigod Maui, hoping that he can save her people.
51. James I and Charles I : STUARTS
The Royal House of Stewart (also Stuart) came to power in Scotland in the late 14th century, starting with Robert II of Scotland. The Stewarts extended their power to England and Ireland when the Tudor line became extinct as Queen Elizabeth I died without issue. James VI of Scotland became James I of England at that time. The last Stuart monarch was Anne, Queen of Great Britain who also died without issue, despite going through seventeen pregnancies. Assuming Prince William, Duke of Cambridge becomes the British Monarch one day, then there will be a Stewart descendant on the throne again. William is the son of Diana, Princess of Wales, and Diana was descended from the Stewart monarchs.
60. Pac-12 athlete : UTE
The Utah Utes are the athletic teams of the University of Utah.
61. Like a workaholic : TYPE A
The Type A and Type B personality theory originated in the fifties. Back then, individuals were labelled as Type A in order to emphasize a perceived increased risk of heart disease. Type A personality types are so called “stress junkies”, whereas Type B types are relaxed and laid back. But there doesn’t seem to be much scientific evidence to support the linkage between the Type A personality and heart problems.
62. Big rolls : SIXES
The numbers on dice are arranged so that the opposite faces add up to seven. Given this arrangement, the numbers 1, 2 and 3 all meet at a common vertex. There are two ways of arranging the 1, 2 and 3 around the common vertex, a so called right-handed die (clockwise 1-2-3) or a left-handed die (counterclockwise 1-2-3). Traditionally, dice used in Western cultures are right-handed, whereas Chinese dice are left-handed. Quite interesting …
63. Seat of Christianity? : PEW
A pew is a bench in a church, one usually with a high back. The original pews were raised and sometimes enclosed seats in the church used by women and important men or families. “Pew” comes from the Old French “puie” meaning “balcony, elevation”.
1. Standout in a quad : BMOC
Big Man On Campus (BMOC)
2. Dunham of “Girls” : LENA
Lena Dunham is a co-star in the HBO series “Girls”, and is also the show’s creator. Dunham garnered a lot of attention for herself during the 2012 US Presidential election cycle as she starred in an ad focused on getting out the youth vote. In the spot she compared voting for the first time with having sex for the first time.
5. “The Martha ___ Show” of 1950s TV : RAYE
Martha Raye was a comic actress as well as a singer. Raye was famous for the size of her mouth, something that she used to her own advantage. As her nickname was “The Big Mouth”, she made a little money appearing in commercials for the Polident denture cleaner in the eighties. Her line was, “So take it from the Big Mouth: new Polident Green gets tough stains clean!”
6. Recluse’s problem, maybe : AGORAPHOBIA
In early Greece the agora was a place of assembly. The assemblies held there were often quite formal, perhaps for the reading of a proclamation. Later in Greek history, things became less formal as the agora evolved into a market place. Our contemporary word “agoraphobia” comes from these agorae, in the sense that an agoraphobe has a fear of open spaces, a fear of “public meeting places”.
8. Procter & Gamble cleaning brand : ERA
Era was the first liquid laundry detergent produced by Procter & Gamble.
11. Roman emperor who overthrew Galba : OTHO
AD 69 was a year of civil war in ancient Rome. The unrest started with the death of emperor Nero in AD 68, after which followed the brief rule of Galba, of Otho, of Vitellius, and of Vespasian all in the same year. As a result, AD 69 became known as the Year of the Four Emperors.
12. Silent part of “mnemonic” : THE M
The first letter in the word “mnemonic” is a silent M.
13. Banks of “America’s Got Talent” : TYRA
Tyra Banks is a tremendously successful model and businesswoman. Banks created and hosted the hit show “America’s Next Top Model “, and also had her own talk show. She was also the first African American woman to make the cover of the “Sports Illustrated” swimsuit issue. Banks took over as host of “America’s Got Talent” in 2017.
19. Something said by a put-out Putin? : NYET
“Nyet” is Russian for “no”, and “da” is Russian for “yes”.
Vladimir Putin became acting President of Russia at the very end of 1999 when Boris Yeltsin resigned. Putin was elected in his own right in 2000, re-elected in 2004, and then ran up against a term limit in 2008. In 2008 Putin was appointed by his successor, President Dmitry Medvedev, to the position of Prime Minister. Putin is a controversial figure, inside and outside Russia. On the one hand he led the country out of an economic crisis into a period of stability and relative prosperity. On the other hand he has been associated with government corruption and accused of allowing private concerns to have undue influence on government actions. And then, along came the 2016 US presidential election …
24. Flippered animal along the Pacific Coast : SEA LION
There are three families of seals. The first is the walrus family, the second the eared seals (like sea lions), and thirdly the earless seals (like elephant seals).
25. Don’t open it! : PANDORA’S BOX
According to Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman. She was created by the gods, with each god bestowing on her a gift. Her name can be translated from Greek as “all-gifted”. Pandora is famous for the story of “Pandora’s Box”. In actual fact, the story should be about Pandora’s “Jar” as a 16th-century error in translation created a “box” out of the “jar”. In the story of Pandora’s Box, curiosity got the better of her and she opened up a box she was meant to leave alone. As a result she released all the evils of mankind, just closing it in time to trap hope inside.
26. Indy racer sponsor : STP
STP is a brand name for automotive lubricants and additives. The name STP comes from “Scientifically Treated Petroleum”.
27. Hairstyles that need lots of combing : POUFS
The pouf is an updo hairstyle that was popularized in the 18th-century France by Marie Antoinette. The French queen first sported the pouf at the coronation of her husband, Louis XVI. Ladies of the day would often wear many ornaments and decorations in their hair set in a pouf, such as pearls, feathers and even ships.
31. Toy shooter : BB GUN
A BB gun is an air pistol or rifle that shoots birdshot known as BBs. Birdshot comes in a number of different sizes, from size 9 (0.070″ in diameter) to size FF (.230″). Birdshot that is size BB (0.180″ in diameter) gives the airgun its name.
34. Seat of New Mexico’s Doña Ana County : LAS CRUCES
Las Cruces (Spanish for “the crosses”) is the second largest city in the state of New Mexico, and is the home of New Mexico State University.
43. Square one : DORK
I consider “dork” to be pretty offensive slang. It originated in the sixties among American students, and has its roots in another slang term, a term for male genitalia.
45. Bucks : MOOLA
“Buck” is a slang term for “dollar”. The term has been around at least since 1856, and is thought to derive from the tradition of using buckskin as a unit of trade with Native Americans during the frontier days.
48. Letters that might precede 10001 : NY, NY
The ZIP code 10001 covers much of Midtown Manhattan.
49. Bloke : CHAP
“Chap” is an informal term for “lad, fellow”, especially in England. The term derives from “chapman”, an obsolete word meaning “purchaser” or “trader”.
“Bloke” is British slang for a fellow. The etymology of “bloke” seems to have been lost in the mists of time.
52. Newcastle upon ___, England : TYNE
Newcastle upon Tyne in the North of England is home to the famous Newcastle Brown Ale.
56. Rare occurrences at Super Bowls, briefly : OTS
In overtime (in OT)
57. Clutch hitter’s stat : RBI
Run batted in (RBI)