Edited by: Will Shortz
We have a rebus puzzle today. Each of the CORNER squares contains a type of OFFICE. Those four are:
- BOX OFFICE
- POST OFFICE
- OVAL OFFICE
- HOME OFFICE
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies
15. “How ___ Your Mother” : I MET
“How I Met Your Mother” is a sitcom that CBS has been airing since 2005. The main character is Ted Mosby, played by Josh Radnor. Mosby is also the narrator for the show looking back from the year 2030 (the live action is set in the present). As narrator, the older Mosby character is voiced by Bob Saget.
16. First lady with a popular recipe for “million-dollar fudge” : MAMIE
Mamie Eisenhower has to have been one of the most charming of all the First Ladies of the United States. Ms. Eisenhower suffered from an inner ear complaint called Ménière’s disease which caused her to lose her balance quite often. Because she was unsteady on her feet there were unfounded rumors floating around Washington that Ms. Eisenhower had a drinking problem. People can be very unkind …
17. School founded by Henry VI : ETON
London’s Eton College has three academic terms, although those three terms are known as “halves”. That name dates back to when the school year was split into two halves. The current terms are:
- The Michaelmas Half (early September to mid-December)
- The Lent Half (mid-January to late March)
- The Summer Half (late April to late-June/early-July)
King Henry VI of England succeeded to the throne when he was just nine months old, making him the youngest monarch ever to sit on the English throne.
20. Mitt Romney’s wife : ANN
Ann Davies knew Mitt Romney way back in elementary school, and the pair started dating when Ann was 16 and were married in 1968 when she was 19 years old. Ann Romney was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1998, and she has been very active with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
29. Soccer star Chastain with two Olympic gold medals : BRANDI
Brandi Chastain is professional soccer player and former member of the US national team. Famously, Chastain scored the game-winning kick in a penalty shootout in the 1999 Women’s World Cup final. Male soccer players regularly whip off their jerseys in celebration of a goal, and Chastain did the same thing. The sports bra seen around the world, as it were …
35. Microsoft offering : EXCEL
Microsoft Excel is the spreadsheet program included in the Microsoft Office suite of applications. Microsoft’s first spreadsheet program was introduced back in 1982 and called Multiplan. Multiplan’s popularity waned due to the success of the competing product Lotus 1-2-3. Microsoft then introduced Excel, initially just for the Macintosh. When Excel was extended to Windows, Lotus was slow to respond and Microsoft took over the market.
39. Gavin of “The Love Boat” : MACLEOD
The actor Gavin MacLeod is noted for his television roles as Happy Haines on “McHale’s Navy”, Murray Slaughter on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and Captain Stubing on “The Love Boat”.
“The Love Boat” TV series was born out of 1976 made-for-TV movie with the same title. The movie was which itself was an adaptation of a nonfiction book called “The Love Boats” written by real-life cruise director Jeraldine Saunders.
41. What a Möbius strip lacks : END
A Möbius strip is a surface that has only one side. One is easily made by taking a strip of paper and joining the ends together, but with a twist so that it isn’t a regular “band”.
42. Rehm of public radio : DIANE
Diane Rehm is host of the NPR-syndicated radio show called “The Diane Rehm Show”. The show used to be called “Kaleidoscope”, when Rehm took over as host in 1979. It was rebranded in 1984.
46. Capital on an Asian peninsula : ANKARA
Ankara is the second largest city in Turkey, after Istanbul (formerly Constantinople). After WWI, the Ottoman Empire had been defeated and the Allies occupied the Ottoman capital of Istanbul. The victors planned to break up most of Turkey, leaving native Turks just part of their country for their own. In the inevitable War of Independence that followed, the Turkish Nationalists used Ankara as their base. When the Nationalists emerged victorious, they declared Ankara the new capital of Turkey.
48. ___ Tomb : LENIN’S
Lenin’s Tomb is mausoleum in which lie the embalmed remains of Vladimir Lenin. The tomb lies just outside the walls of the Kremlin in Red Square. Lenin died in 1924, after which his body was housed in a wooden structure in Red Square for viewing by mourners. The current marble and granite structure was completed in 1930. The body has rested there on display ever since, except for the years of WWII when there was a perceived danger of Moscow falling to the Germans. The body was evacuated to Tyumen in Siberia for the war years.
53. Jack who was quick with a quip : PAAR
Jack Paar was most famous as the host of “The Tonight Show”, from 1957 to 1962. When he died in 2004, “Time” magazine wrote that Paar was “the fellow who split talk show history into two eras: “Before Paar and Below Paar”. Very complimentary …
57. Odd group of musicians? : NONET
A nonet is a piece of music requiring nine musicians for a performance. The term is also used for the group itself.
61. “This puzzle is relatively easy,” say : LIE
True that …
64. High-quality cotton : PIMA
Pima is a soft cotton that is very durable and absorbent. Pima cotton is named after the Pima Native Americans who first cultivated it in this part of the world.
65. Like most of Maine : RURAL
There seems to be some uncertainty how the US state of Maine got its name. However, the state legislature has adopted the theory that it comes from the former French province of Maine. The legislature included language to that effect when adopting a resolution in 2001 to establish Franco-American Day.
66. Holder of the Obama cabinet : ERIC
Eric Holder was the Attorney General of the United States from 2009 to 2015, the first African American to hold the position. Holder was close to President Obama during the presidential campaign. Holder was the campaign’s legal advisor and was also one of the three members on the Obama vice-presidential selection committee that recommended future Vice President Joe Biden.
68. Popular drink : OVALTINE
Ovaltine is a milk-flavoring product that was developed in Berne, Switzerland in the early 1900s. It is still called by its original name in its native Switzerland, namely “Ovomaltine”. The “ovo-maltine” name reflects the main ingredients back then: eggs and malt.
69. Like some cellars : DANK
“Dank” is such a lovely word that has largely been superseded by another nice word, “damp”. It is thought that “dank” came into English from Scandinavia some time before the 14th century. The modern Swedish word “dank” means “moist place”.
3. King in “The Tempest” : ALONSO
In William Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest”, Alonso is the King of Naples. Alonso helps Antonio to depose his brother Prospero as Duke of Milan and set him adrift in a boat with Prospero’s young daughter Miranda.
4. Kylo ___ of “The Force Awakens” : REN
Adam Driver is an actor best known for playing Adam Sackler on the TV show “Girls” that airs on HBO. Driver’s career got a huge boost in 2015 when he played villain Kylo Ren in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”.
5. City with a famous bell tower : PISA
The city of Pisa is right on the Italian coast, sitting at the mouth of the River Arno, and is famous for its Leaning Tower. The tower is actually the campanile (bell tower) of the city’s cathedral, and it has been leaning since it was completed in 1173. Just shows you how important good foundations are …
7. Author who did part of his work on Friday : DEFOE
In Daniel Defoe’s 1719 novel “Robinson Crusoe”, the castaway encounters a companion that Crusoe calls “Friday”, because the two first met on that day. Friday soon becomes his willing servant. This character is the source of our terms “Man/Guy Friday” and “Girl/Guy Friday”, which are used to describe a particularly competent and loyal assistant.
8. Jobs once in California : STEVE
Steve Jobs certainly was a business icon in Silicon Valley. I don’t think it is too surprising to learn that the brilliant Jobs didn’t even finish his college education, dropping out of Reed College in Oregon after only one semester. Steve Jobs co-founded Apple in 1976, but in 1985 he was basically fired from his own company during the computer sales slump of the mid-eighties. Jobs then founded NeXT Computer, a company focused on supplying workstations to the higher education and business markets. Apple purchased NeXT in 1996, and that’s how Jobs found himself back with his original company.
9. F.B.I. agent, informally : G-MAN
The nickname “G-men” is short for “Government Men” and refers to agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
10. Conjunction in a rebus puzzle : OAR
In a rebus puzzle, the conjunction “or” might be represented by a picture of an oar.
19. Cannabis, e.g. : HERB
Hemp is a hardy, fast-growing plant that has many uses mainly due to the strength of the fibers in the plant’s stalks. Hemp is used to make rope, paper and textiles. Famously, there is a variety of hemp that is grown to make drugs, most famously cannabis.
26. Material for Icarus’ wings : WAX
Daedalus was a master craftsman of Greek mythology who was tasked with creating the Labyrinth on the island of Crete that was to house the Minotaur. After the Labyrinth was completed, King Minos imprisoned Daedalus and his son Icarus in a tower, so that he could not spread word of his work. Daedalus fabricated wings so that he and Icarus could escape by flying off the island. Despite being warned by his father, Icarus flew too close to the sun so that the wax holding the wings’ feathers in place melted. Icarus drowned in the sea, and Daedalus escaped.
28. F.D.R.-created program with the slogan “We Do Our Part” : NRA
The National Recovery Administration (NRA) was one of the first agencies set up under President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal program. On the one hand the NRA help set minimum wages and maximum working hours for workers in industry, and on the other hand it helped set minimum prices for goods produced by companies. The NRA was very popular with the public, and businesses that didn’t opt to participate in the program found themselves boycotted. The NRA didn’t survive for long though, as after two years of operation it was deemed to be unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court and so it ceased operations in 1935.
30. Pittance : RED CENT
Something that is “not worth a red cent” has very little value. The “red” reference is to the color of a copper penny.
A pittance is a small amount, often a living allowance or remuneration. The term came into English from Old French, and is basically an amount given out of “pity”.
32. Base fig. : NCO
Non-commissioned officer (NCO)
33. “The Lord of the Rings” figure : ELF
J. R. R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” is the second best-selling novel ever written, with only “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens having sold more copies around the world. Remarkably I think, the third best-selling novel is “The Hobbit”, which was also written by Tolkien.
36. Need for drugs : FDA APPROVAL
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) started out as the Food, Drug and Insecticide organization in 1906, after President Theodore Roosevelt signed into law the Food and Drug Act. The main driver behind the Act was concern over public hygiene.
40. Palm ___ : OIL
Palm oil and coconut oil are two vegetable oils that aren’t very good for our health. Both are high in saturated fat.
43. Rapper who famously feuded with Jay-Z : NAS
Rapper Nas used to go by another stage name, Nasty Nas, and before that by his real name, Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones. Nas released his first album “Illmatic” in 1994, and inventively titled his fifth studio album “Stillmatic”, released in 2001. Not my cup of tea, I would say …
Jay-Z, as well as being a successful and very rich rap artist, is married to singer Beyoncé. Jay-Z was born Shawn Corey Carter in Brooklyn, New York. As Carter was growing up, he was nicknamed “Jazzy”, a reference to his interest in music. “Jazzy” evolved into the stage name “Jay-Z”. Jay-Z and Beyoncé have a daughter named Blue Ivy Carter, and twins named Rumi and Sir Carter.
45. “Music for Airports” composer : ENO
Brian Eno was one of the pioneers of the “ambient” genre of music. Eno composed an album in 1978 called “Ambient 1: Music for Airports”, the first in a series of four albums with an ambient theme. Eno named the tracks somewhat inventively: 1/1, 2/1, 2/1 and 2/2.
50. Artist LeRoy : NEIMAN
LeRoy Neiman is an artist from Braham, Minnesota who is known for his vibrant paintings of athletes and sporting events. Niemen lives in a home in New York City overlooking Central Park that has a great pedigree in terms of residents. Former occupants include artist Norman Rockwell as well as entertainers Rudolph Valentino and Noël Coward.
55. Automaker whose current models all end in “X” : ACURA
Acura is the luxury brand of the Honda Motor Company. As an aside, Infiniti is the equivalent luxury brand for the Nissan Motor Company, and Lexus is the more luxurious version of Toyota’s models.
56. Material used in mummification : RESIN
We use the word “mummy” for a dead body that has been embalmed in preparation for burial, especially if done so by the ancient Egyptians. The term “mummy” comes from the Persian word “mumiyah” meaning “embalmed body”.
59. “The King of Football” : PELE
“Pelé” is the nickname of Edson de Nascimento, a soccer player who has used the name “Pelé” for most of his life. Pelé is now retired, and for my money was the world’s greatest ever player of the game. He is the only person to have been part of three World Cup winning squads, and is a national treasure in his native Brazil. One of Pele’s nicknames is “O Rei do Futebol” (the King of Football).
60. Make out : NECK
The term “necking” applies to kissing and caressing. I like what Groucho Marx had to say on the subject:
Whoever named it necking was a poor judge of anatomy.
64. Common email attachment : PDF
Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format introduced by Adobe Systems in 1993. PDF documents can be shared between users and read using many different applications, making them more universally accessible than documents saved by one particular program.