Edited by: Will Shortz
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies
1. As thick as thieves : IN CAHOOTS
To be in cahoots with someone is to in partnership with that person. The exact etymology is unclear, but one suggestion is that it comes from the French “cohorte”, which was used in the US to mean “companion, confederate”.
15. PV = k, to a physicist : BOYLE’S LAW
Irishman Robert Boyle is regarded as one of the founders of modern chemistry, although his early work would better be described as “alchemy”. His name is best known from Boyle’s Law, his experimental observation that the pressure of a gas decreases proportionally as its volume increases.
17. Nursing is a key component of it : ORAL PHASE
According to Freudian psychology, we have an instinctive sexual appetite that develops in five phases, named for the erogenous zones that are the source of the drive in each phase. They are:
- the oral stage (~ 0-2 years)
- the anal stage (~ 1-3 years)
- the phallic stage (~ 3-6 years)
- the latency stage (~ 6 years – puberty)
- the genital stage ( ~ puberty – adult life)
I’m not so sure …
18. Literary hero who gets resurrected : ASLAN
In the C. S. Lewis series of books known as “The Chronicles of Narnia”, Aslan is the name of the lion character (as in the title “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”). “Aslan” is actually the Turkish word for lion. Anyone who has read the books will recognize the the remarkable similarity between the story of Aslan and the story of Christ, including a sacrifice and resurrection.
19. Introduction to science? : OMNI-
Omniscience is the quality of having complete knowledge and awareness. The term comes from the Latin “omnis” meaning “all” and “scientia” meaning “knowledge”.
22. Longtime radio D.J. : KASEM
Not only was Casey Kasem so closely associated with the radio show “American Top 40”, but he was also well known for playing the voice of Shaggy Rogers on the “Scooby-Doo” animated series.
24. Pentathlon event : EPEE
The original pentathlon of the ancient Olympic games consisted of a foot race, wrestling, long jump, javelin and discus. When a new pentathlon was created as a sport for the modern Olympic Games, it was given the name the “modern pentathlon”. First introduced in 1912, the modern pentathlon consists of:
- pistol shooting
- épée fencing
- 200m freestyle swimming
- show jumping
- 3 km cross-country running
25. Puckish : FEY
“Fey” is such a lovely word, meaning magical or fairy-like. It comes from the Middle English word “feie” which has a less pleasant definition, “fated to die”. The term has been extended over the past century to mean “effeminate”.
26. Secretly : SUB ROSA
“Sub rosa” is a Latin term that translates literally as “under the rose”. The term is used to denote confidentiality, as the rose has been a symbol of secrecy since ancient times.
34. “The Warm Heart of Africa” : MALAWI
Malawi is in southeast Africa and is one of the least-developed countries in the world. The Malawi population has a low life expectancy and a high infant mortality rate. HIV/AIDS is a major killer. The British colonized the area in 1891, at which point it was called Nyasaland. Malawi became independent in 1964.
36. Forum icons : AVATARS
The Sanskrit word “avatar” describes the concept of a deity descending into earthly life and taking on a persona. It’s easy to see how in the world of “online presences” one might use the word avatar to describe one’s online identity.
42. Daniels who adapted “The Office” for NBC : GREG
The excellent sitcom “The Office” is set in a branch of a paper company in Scranton, Pennsylvania. If you haven’t seen the original UK version starring Ricky Gervais, I do recommend you check it out. Having said that, the US cast took the show to a whole new level. Great television …
46. PIN point : ATM
One enters a Personal Identification Number (PIN) when using an Automated Teller Machine (ATM). Given that the N in PIN stands for “number”, then PIN number is a redundant phrase. And, given that the M in ATM stands for “machine”, then ATM machine is a redundant phrase as well. Grr …!
52. Explosive theory? : THE BIG BANG
According to the Big Bang theory, the universe came into being just under 14 billion years ago. According to the theory, the universe started out as a hot and dense mass that began to expand rapidly (in a “big bang”). Within three minutes of the “bang”, the universe cooled so that energy was converted into subatomic particles like protons, electrons and neutrons. Over time, subatomic particles turned into atoms. Clouds of those atoms formed stars and galaxies.
56. Birthday visitors? : MAGI
“Magi” is the plural of the Latin word “magus”, a term applied to someone who was able to read the stars. Hence, magi is commonly used with reference to the “wise men from the East” who followed the star and visited Jesus soon after he was born. In Western Christianity, the three Biblical Magi are:
- Melchior: a scholar from Persia
- Caspar: a scholar from India
- Balthazar: a scholar from Arabia
58. Medical marijuana is one : ANALGESIC
Our word “analgesic” meaning “painkiller” comes from “analgesia”, which is a Greek word meaning “painlessness”.
63. Some office openings : KNEEHOLES
Those would be in some desks.
1. Former laptop line : IBOOK
From 1996 to 2006, Apple sold a relatively cost-effective line of laptops called iBooks. Basically, an iBook was a stripped-down version of the high-end PowerBook, in a different form factor and targeted at the consumer and education markets. The iBook was replaced by the MacBook in 2006.
2. Woman’s name that becomes a man’s name when its first letter is added to the end : NORMA
“Norma” becomes “Norman”.
3. Blue shades : CYANS
“Cyan” is short for “cyan blue”. The term comes from the Greek word “kyanos” meaning “dark blue, the color of lapis lazuli”.
4. Germany and Japan, once : ALLIES
Before WWII, Hungary’s prime minister was lobbying for an alliance between Germany, Hungary and Italy and worked towards such a relationship that he called an “axis”. The main Axis powers during the war were Germany, Italy and Japan. However, also included in the relationship were Romania, Bulgaria and the aforementioned Hungary.
5. It was cool in the ’40s : HEP
The slang term “hep” meaning “cool” has the same meaning as the later derivative term “hip”. The origins of “hep” seem unclear, but it was adopted by jazz musicians of the early 1900s.
6. Grp. that doesn’t cover the self-employed : OSHA
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created in 1970 during the Nixon administration. OSHA regulates workplaces in the private sector and regulates just one government agency, namely the US Postal Service.
7. N.C.A.A.’s St. ___ Oles : OLAF
St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota was named for the former king and patron saint of Norway, Olaf II.
10. Bank of America competitor : CHASE
The original Chase National Bank was formed in 1877. Although he had no connection with the bank, it was named for the former US Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase.
11. Grateful Dead bassist Phil : LESH
Phil Lesh is a bass guitar player and is one of the founding members of the rock band, the Grateful Dead. The band’s first names was “the Warlocks”, a name that had to be changed as there was already a band called the Warlocks (although the other Warlocks band had in fact changed its name as well, to Velvet Underground). “The Grateful Dead” was suggested by Jerry Garcia, and was chosen from a dictionary.
14. Mead : HONEY WINE
Mead is a lovely drink that’s made from fermented honey and water.
21. Scold and then some : REAM OUT
I must admit that I find the slang term “to ream out”, with its meaning “to scold harshly”, to be quite distasteful. The usage of the word as a reprimand dates back to about 1950.
23. 1998 Disney princess : MULAN
“Mulan” is a 1998 animated feature film made by Walt Disney studios. The film is based on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, a woman who takes the place of her father in the army and serves with distinction for twelve years without reward. Disney’s lead character was given the name Fa Mulan. Donny Osmond provided the singing voice for one of the lead characters, after which his sons remarked that he had finally made it in show business as he was in a Disney film.
27. English setter, e.g. : BIRD DOG
The breeds of dog known as setters are all gundogs and are used in hunting game.
28. Careful workers, briefly? : RNS
Registered nurse (RN)
30. Storied party host : JAY GATSBY
“The Great Gatsby” is a 1925 novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald that tells of the prosperous life of Jay Gatsby during the Roaring 20s. Gatsby develops an obsessive love for Daisy Fay Buchanan, a girl he met while serving during WWI, and meets again some years later after he has improved his social standing.
32. Alchemist’s starting point : BASE METAL
One of the main goals of the ancient practice of alchemy was to change base metals into gold, a process known as transmutation.
38. Many an online nuisance : BOT
A bot is computer program that is designed to imitate human behavior. It might crawl around the Web doing searches for example, or it might participate in discussions in chat rooms by giving pre-programmed responses. It might also act as a competitor in a computer game.
40. Cedar Revolution locale : LEBANON
Lebanon lies at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea. The nation has a rich cultural history, and was home to the ancient civilization of Phoenicia. The name “Lebanon” derives from the Semitic word “lbn” meaning “white”, and is probably a reference to the snow that caps the mountain range known as Mount Lebanon, which parallels the Mediterranean coast.
45. Exotic salad ingredient : POMELO
A pomelo is a very large, pear-shaped citrus fruit native to Southeast Asia.
55. ___ club : GLEE
A glee club is a choir group, usually of males, that sings short songs known as “glees”. A glee is a song scored for three or more voices that is performed unaccompanied.