Edited by: Will Shortz
Each of today’s themed answers starts with a Roman numeral:
- 17A. 1,001 causes of anxiety? : MISTRESSES (MI stresses)
- 26A. 101 rear ends? : CISTERNS (CI sterns)
- 37A. 51 cats? : LIFELINES (LI felines)
- 53A. Six members of a “Dallas” family? : VIEWINGS (VI Ewings)
- 61A. 501 renditions? : DIVERSIONS (DI versions)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies
1. “___ Don’t Lie” (2006 Shakira hit) : HIPS
Shakira is a hugely successful singer from Colombia. She used to appear on TV as one of the coaches on the reality show “The Voice”.
10. Ruler deposed in 1979 : SHAH
The last Shah of Iran was Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, as he was overthrown in the revolution led by the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979. The post-revolution government sought the extradition of the Shah back to Iran while he was in the United States seeking medical care (he had cancer). His prolonged stay in the United States, recovering from surgery, caused some unrest back in Iran and resentment towards the United States. Some say that this resentment precipitated the storming of the US Embassy in Tehran and the resulting hostage crisis.
14. Father of Ahab in the Bible : OMRI
Omri was the sixth king of Israel, and was succeeded by his son Ahab.
15. Composer whose name is Italian for “green” : VERDI
Giuseppe Verdi was an Italian composer, mainly of operas, who was active during the Romantic era. Equally as famous as Verdi’s operas, are arias from those operas such as “La donna è mobile” from “Rigoletto”, “The Drinking Song” from “La Traviata” and “The Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves” from “Nabucco”.
20. Doc who might perform laryngologic surgery : ENT
The branch of medicine known as “ear, nose and throat” is more correctly called “otolaryngology”.
21. ___ Enterprise : USS
The USS Enterprise was Vice Admiral William Halsey’s flagship. It was also the ship he was aboard in the Pacific when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Apparently, Halsey remarked right after the attack, “Before we’re through with ’em, the Japanese language will only be spoken in hell.”
24. Gives kudos to : LAUDS
Our word “kudos” means acclaim given for an exceptional achievement. “Kudos” is both a singular and plural noun, derived from the Greek “kyddos” meaning “glory, fame”.
32. ___ noire (pet peeve) : BETE
“Bête noire” translates from French as “black beast” and is used in English to describe something or someone that is disliked.
48. Singer Garfunkel : ART
Singer and actor Art Garfunkel is best-known for the years he spent performing with Paul Simon, although Garfunkel had a successful solo career after the duo split up. As well as singing and acting, he is fond of taking long, long walks while composing poetry. Garfunkel walked across Japan in the early 1980s, and across America in increments from 1983 to 1997. He then walked across Europe, also in increments, from 1998 to 2011.
49. Frost : HOAR
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.
53. Six members of a “Dallas” family? : VIEWINGS (VI Ewings)
The TV soap “Dallas” revolved around the Ewing family. The show that ran for 13 years was originally intended as a five-part mini-series, with the main characters being newlyweds Bobby and Pam Ewing. But, the devious character in the piece, Bobby’s brother J. R. Ewing, became so popular with audiences that the series was extended with J. R. at the center of the story.
55. Provo resident : UTAHN
Provo, Utah is a city located just over 40 miles south of South Lake City. Provo is home to Brigham Young University. The city was originally called Fort Utah, and the name was changed to Provo in 1850 in honor of Étienne Provost. Provost was a French-Canadian fur trader who was perhaps the first man of European descent to see the Great Salt Lake.
59. ___-wop : DOO
Doo-wop developed in the 1940s and can be described as a vocal-based R&B music. Even though the style has been around since the forties, the name doo-wop wasn’t introduced until the early sixties.
60. Ibsen’s “Peer ___” : GYNT
Henrik Ibsen’s play “Peer Gynt” is based on a Scandinavian fairy tale “Per Gynt”. The incidental music to the play, written by Edvard Grieg, is some of the most approachable classical music ever written, at least in my humble opinion …
69. Designer Perry : ELLIS
Perry Ellis was a fashion designer from Portsmouth, Virginia. Ellis was noted for his sportswear creations.
70. He loved Lucy : DESI
Desi Arnaz was famous for his turbulent marriage to Lucille Ball. Arnaz was a native of Cuba, and was from a privileged family. His father was Mayor of Santiago and served in the Cuban House of Representatives. However, the family had to flee to Miami after the 1933 revolt led by Batista.
1. Many a meth production site : HOME LAB
“Meth” is a street name used for the drug methamphetamine, also called “crank” and “crystal meth”.
3. Cheap way to get media attention : PR STUNT
Public relations (PR)
5. Two big nights in December : EVES
They could be Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
6. Loch ___ : NESS
Loch Ness is one of the two most famous lakes in Scotland. Loch Ness is famous for its “monster”, and Loch Lomond is famous for the lovely song “The Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomond”. Oh, ye’ll tak’ the high road, and I’ll tak’ the low road …
7. H.M.O. V.I.P.s : DRS
Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)
8. Wordsworth work : ODE
The great English poet William Wordsworth is intrinsically linked with the Lake District in the north of England, where he lived from much of his life. The Lake District is a beautiful part of the country, and I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Dove Cottage in Grasmere a couple of times, where Wordsworth lived with his wife Dorothy …
18. Deteriorate with inactivity : RUST
Rust is iron oxide. Rust forms when iron oxidizes, reacts with oxygen.
25. Pacers’ engagements? : DUELS
Take fifteen paces, then turn, and fire.
27. World’s most populous democracy : INDIA
The vast Asian country called India takes its name from the Indus River. The name “Indus” in turn comes from the Sanskrit “Sindhu” that can be translated as “a body of trembling water”. India is the second-most populous country in the world (after China), and the most populous democracy.
29. Beach bottle letters : SPF
In theory, the sun protection factor (SPF) is a calibrated measure of the effectiveness of a sunscreen in protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. The idea is that if you wear a lotion with say SPF 20, then it takes 20 times as much UV radiation to cause the skin to burn than it would take without protection. I say just stay out of the sun …
38. Paintballer’s cry : I’M HIT!
The “paint” in paintball isn’t actually paint, but rather a mix of gelatin and food coloring.
39. Org. concerned with meltdowns : NRC
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) oversees most aspects of the safety of nuclear power plants and nuclear fuel in the US.
46. Devices with Siri : IPHONES
Siri is a software application that works with Apple’s iOS operating system. “Siri” is an acronym standing for Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface. You’ve probably seen the ads on television, with folks talking to their iPhones asking for information and responding with a voice. I hear that Google is a little scared by Siri, as Siri is non-visual. There’s no need to touch a screen or a keyboard to work with Siri, no opportunity to click on one of Google’s ads! By the way, voice-over artist Susan Bennett revealed herself as the female American voice of Siri not that long ago. The British version of Siri is called Daniel, and the Australian version is called Karen. Also, “Siri” is a Norwegian name meaning “beautiful woman who leads you to victory”, and was the name the developer had chosen for his first child.
52. Summons a genie, perhaps : RUBS
The “genie” in the bottle takes his or her name from “djinn”. “Djinns” were various spirits considered lesser than angels, with people exhibiting unsavory characteristics said to be possessed by djinn. When the book “The Thousand and One Nights” was translated into French, the word “djinn” was transformed into the existing word “génie”, because of the similarity in sound and the related spiritual meaning. This “génie” from the Arabian tale became confused with the Latin-derived “genius”, a guardian spirit thought to be assigned to each person at birth. Purely as a result of that mistranslation the word genie has come to mean the “djinn” that pops out of the bottle. A little hard to follow, I know, but still quite interesting …
54. Word repeated before “everywhere” : WATER
“The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” is an epic poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge that was first published in 1798. The publication of “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” is said to mark the beginning of the Romantic period of British literature. Perhaps the lines most often quoted from the poem are:
Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where
Nor any drop to drink
57. Yoda, e.g. : JEDI
The Jedi are the “good guys” in the “Star Wars” series of movies. The most famous Jedi knights from the films are Obi-Wan Kenobi (played by Alec Guinness, and later Ewan McGregor) and Yoda (voiced by Frank Oz). Well, they’re my favorites anyway …
58. Son of Zeus : ARES
The Greek god Ares is often referred to as the Olympian god of warfare, but originally he was regarded as the god of bloodlust and slaughter. Ares united with Aphrodite to create several gods, including Phobos (Fear), Deimos (Terror) and Eros (Desire). Ares was the son of Zeus and Hera, and the Roman equivalent to Ares was Mars.
62. Kind of wind that blows no good : ILL
We’ve all probably heard the phrase “‘tis an ill wind that blows nobody any good”. The poet Ogden Nash made a “punny” statement about the oboe, calling the instrument “an ill wind nobody blows good”. I must say though, I disagree …
63. Actor Kilmer of “Tombstone” : VAL
Val Kilmer’s first big leading role in a movie was playing Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone’s 1991 biopic “The Doors”. A few years later, Kilmer was chosen for the lead in another big production, “Batman Forever”. Things haven’t really gone as well for Kilmer since then, I’d say. Off the screen, he flirted with the idea of running for Governor of New Mexico in 2010. A Hollywood actor as a Governor? Would never happen …
“Tombstone” is a 1993 Western movie that has a storyline centered on the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral and its aftermath. The cast includes Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday, and Kurt Russell as Wyatt Earp. “Tombstone” was released six months before the ostensibly competing movie “Wyatt Earp” starring Kevin Costner. If there was a competition between the two films, then “Tombstone” won, both in terms of ticket sales and critical response.