Edited by: Will Shortz
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies
1. Place to order sardinas and sangria : TAPAS BAR
“Tapa” is the Spanish word for “lid”, and there is no clear rationale for why this word came to be used for an appetizer. There are lots of explanations cited, all of which seem to involve the temporary covering of one’s glass of wine with a plate or item of food to either preserve the wine or give one extra space at the table.
9. Poison ___ : SUMAC
Sumacs are a group of flowering shrubs and small trees that includes poison oak, poison ivy and poison sumac (nasty stuff!). The leaves of some species of sumac contain tannins that are used for tanning leather. Morocco leather is an example of the use of sumac tannins.
15. Wordsmith William : SAFIRE
William Safire was a syndicated columnist for the New York Times. He also worked for the Nixon election campaigns in 1960 and 1968, and was a speechwriter for both Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew.
18. Many a Volga native : TATAR
Tatars are an ethnic group of people, mainly residing in Russia (a population of about 5 1/2 million). One of the more famous people with a Tatar heritage was Hollywood actor Charles Bronson. Bronson’s real name was Charles Buchinsky.
The Volga is the longest river in Europe, and is also considered the national river of Russia.
31. Actor Cage, informally : NIC
The actor Nicolas “Nic” Cage was born Nicolas Coppola. Cage is the nephew of director Francis Ford Coppola and actress Talia Shire, both of whom are his father’s siblings.
33. Wheelchair-bound “Glee” character : ARTIE
Artie Abrams is a character in the Fox television show “Glee”. Abrams is played by the young actor Kevin McHale, and is the character who gets around in a wheelchair.
36. Things like “Which Disney Princess Are You?” : BUZZFEED QUIZZES
BuzzFeed is an Internet media company that was founded in 2006 in New York City.
39. Neighbor of a Bosnian : CROAT
The Republic of Croatia is a Balkan country. The Croats declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. Croatia became a member of NATO in 2009, and a member of the European Union in 2013.
48. Double-platinum Steely Dan album : AJA
Steely Dan’s heyday was in the seventies when they toured for a couple of years, although the group mainly focused on studio work. The band was formed in 1972 and broke up in 1981. The core of the band reunited in 1993, and is still performing today despite the passing of founding member Walter Becker in 2017. Steely Dan’s best-selling album is “Aja” (pronounced “Asia”), which was released in 1977.
49. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” detective Diaz : ROSA
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” is a sitcom set in the 99th precinct of the NYPD in Brooklyn. Star of the show is “Saturday Night Live” alum Andy Samberg, who plays Detective Jake Peralta.
57. “Adios!” : SAYONARA!
“Sayonara” means “farewell” in Japanese.
60. A.F.C. North team : BROWNS
The Cleveland Browns football team was a charter member of the All-American Football Conference, formed in 1946. Cleveland is the only NFL city that has never hosted nor sent a team to the Super Bowl.
61. “D’oh!” : I’M A MORON!
“The Simpsons” is one of the most successful programs produced by the Fox Broadcasting Company. Homer Simpson’s catchphrase is “D’oh!”, which became such a famous exclamation that it has been included in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) since 2001. “D’oh!” can be translated as “I should have thought of that!”
62. Shooting game : SKEET
There are three types of competitive shotgun target shooting sports:
- Skeet shooting
- Trap shooting
- Sporting clays
63. Something that’s assumed : FAKE NAME
1. Chief justice appointed by Harding : TAFT
William Howard Taft may have been the 27th President of the United States, but his lifelong ambition was to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. President Taft was able to realize that dream in 1921, eight years after losing his bid for re-election as president. As Chief Justice, this former US President swore in two new presidents: Calvin Coolidge (in 1925) and Herbert Hoover (in 1929). William Howard Taft is also remembered as the most obese president. In the last year of his presidency, he weighed about 340 pounds (he was 5 feet 11 inches tall). Twelve months after leaving the White House, President Taft had dropped 80 pounds and substantially lowered his blood pressure.
2. Inter ___ : ALIA
“Inter alia” is Latin for “among other things”.
8. Who set the standard for the United States? : ROSS
Legend has it that Betsy Ross made the first American flag for General George Washington. However, this story only surfaced during the centennial celebrations of 1876, and although Betsy Ross was indeed one of several flag makers in Philadelphia in the days of George Washington, sadly there’s no definitive evidence that Ross provided that first stars and stripes.
9. Valentine, e.g. : SAINT
Saint Valentine’s Day was introduced by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD to honor various martyrs with the name Valentine. However, the saint’s’ day was dropped by the Roman Catholic church in 1969, by Pope Paul VI. Try telling that to Hallmark though …
10. Certain pay-per-view event organizer, for short : UFC
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is a largest promoter in the world of mixed martial arts competitions. I think the idea is that competitors fight each other in various disciplines to see who is the “best of the best” …
12. “Capisce?” : ARE WE CLEAR?
“Capeesh?” is a slang term meaning “do you understand?” It comes from the Italian “capisce” meaning “understand”.
20. First principal character encountered by Ishmael in “Moby-Dick” : QUEEQUEG
Queequeg is a character in Herman Melville’s classic tale “Moby Dick”. Queequeg is the chief harpooner on the boat. He is the son of South Sea chieftain, and is also a cannibal who is covered in tattoos.
23. Israeli city that shares its name with a unit of measure : ACRE
Acre is a port city in northern Israel, on Haifa Bay.
26. Hit 1998 animated film : ANTZ
“Antz” was the first feature movie released by Dreamworks SKG, the studio founded by Steven Spielberg and two partners in 1994. “Antz” came out in 1998, and has a stellar cast that includes Woody Allen, Sharon Stone, Sylvester Stallone, Gene Hackman and many, many other big names. The cartoon is quite unique in that the facial features of the voice actors are reflected in the animated characters.
27. “Closing Bell” channel : CNBC
“Closing Bell” is a business show on CNBC that airs each weekday. As the title suggests, the show covers the period just before the end of trading (the “closing bell”) and reviews that that day on the floor after the market has closed.
29. Comics character seen on gum wrappers : BAZOOKA JOE
The Bazooka brand of bubble gum was introduced by the Topps Company soon after the end of WWII. Bazooka have included comic strips in the wrappers for their gum since the early to mid-fifties. The hero of the strip is Bazooka Joe, a young man who wears an eyepatch.
30. Cousins of Spots : FIDOS
“Fido”, the name for many a dog, is Latin for “I trust”.
37. Billy of “Titanic” : ZANE
Billy Zane is an actor from Chicago, Illinois. One of Zane’s most prominent roles was the title character in the 1996 superhero film called “The Phantom”. He also played the somewhat creepy bad guy in the 1989 thriller movie called “Dead Calm”.
38. ___ Major : URSA
The constellation named Ursa Major (Latin for “Larger Bear”) is often just called the Big Dipper because of its resemblance to a ladle or dipper. Ursa Major also resembles a plow, and that’s what we usually call the same constellation back in Ireland, the “plough”.
45. What whole-grain foods and sugary drinks have lots of : CARBS
Only relatively small amounts of carbohydrate can be stored by the human body, but those stores are important. The actual storage molecule is a starch-like polysaccharide called glycogen, which is found mainly in the liver and muscles. Glycogen is a quick source of energy when required by the body. Most of the body’s energy is stored in the form of fat, a more compact substance that is mobilized less rapidly. Endurance athletes often eat meals high in carbohydrate (carbo-loading) a few hours before an event, so that their body’s glycogen is at optimum levels.
52. ___ Lee : SARA
In 1935, businessman Charles Lubin bought a chain of three bakeries in Chicago called Community Bake Shops, and soon expanded the operation into seven stores. Lubin introduced a cream cheesecake that he named after his daughter who was only 8-years-old at the time, Sara Lee Lubin. The cheesecake was a hit and he renamed the bakeries to Kitchen of Sara Lee. The business was bought out by Consolidated foods in 1956, but the brand name Sara Lee persists to this day, as does Ms. Sara Lee herself who now goes by the name Sara Lee Schupf.
53. Last dance? : PROM
A prom is a formal dance held upon graduation from high school (we call them “formals” over in Ireland). The term “prom” is short for “promenade”, the name given to a type of dance or ball.
54. Not a candidate for the invoking of the 25th Amendment, say : SANE
The Twenty-fifth Amendment to the US Constitution defines procedures adopted in the event of a vacancy in the office of the US President or Vice President. Adopted in 1967, the amendment also addresses situations in which the president becomes incapacitated.
58. Supporter of the A.C.A. : AMA
American Medical Association (AMA)
The correct name for what has been dubbed “Obamacare” is the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (ACA).