The full solution to today's crossword that appears in the New York Times
The full solution to today's SYNDICATED New York Times crossword that appears in all other publications
THEME: SCRABBLE TILES ... all the theme answers end with a letter, and each of these letters in the game of Scrabble only show up one individual tile i.e. MALCOLM X, GENERATION Z, SPECIAL K, AVENUE Q and LL COOL J
COMPLETION TIME: 44m 20s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
Today's Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. The Divine, in 23-Across : DIO
"Dio", the Italian for "God".
4. "M*A*S*H" co-star : SWIT
Loretta Swit started playing "Hot Lips" Houlihan on "M*A*S*H" in 1972. She and Alan Alda were the only actors who appeared in both the pilot and the series finale. Swit has written a book on needlepoint, would you believe? It's called "A Needlepoint Scrapbook" if you want to go look for it!
14. Woman's name that means "messenger of God" : ANGELINA
Angelina comes from the masculine, Latin name Angelus, and translates as "little angel".
16. Simple hydrocarbon : ETHYNE
In organic chemistry, the three basic classes of hydrocarbons are alkanes, alkenes and alkynes. Three of the simplest members of these classes are ethane, ethene (commonly called ethylene), and ethyne (commonly called acetylene).
17. *Omaha-born human rights activist : MALCOLM X
Malcolm X was born Malcolm Little, in Omaha, Nebraska in 1925. He told his own life story in the incredibly successful book "The Autobiography of Malcolm X", on which he collaborated with author Alex Haley. Malcolm Little changed his name when he joined the Nation of Islam, choosing "X" to represent the African family name that he could never know.
20. Supérieur et Érié : LACS
Lakes Superior and Erie, in French, Lac Supérieur et Lac Érié.
22. Baum princess : OZMA
L. Frank Baum wrote a whole series of books about the Land of Oz, and Princess Ozma appears in all of them except the one that's most famous, "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz".
23. Ligurian capital : GENOA
Genoa is a seaport in the very north of Italy, in the region known as Liguria. One of Genoa's most famous sons was Christopher Columbus.
29. Physics unit : ERG
An erg is a unit of energy, or mechanical work. "Erg" comes from the Greek word "ergon", meaning "work". A dyne is a unit of force. The name "dyne" comes from the Greek "dynamis" meaning power or force. Ergs and dynes are related to each other in that one erg is the amount of energy need to move a force of one dyne over a distance of one centimeter.
30. Tee follower : VEE
"Tee Vee" or TV, the abbreviation for television.
32. 1955 Platters hit : ONLY YOU
The 1955 hit by the Platters is more completely called "Only You (and You Alone)".
34. Plunk preceder : KER
KerPlunk is a children's game that has been around since 1967. It's all about trying to remove straws from a web without dropping a ball ... kerplunk!
36. *Today's kids, demographically speaking : GENERATION Z
Definitions vary, but it seems that Generation Z is reserved for the children of Generation X.
The term Generation X originated in the UK, the name of a book by Jane Deverson. Her book detailed the results of her study of British youth in 1964, contrasting their lifestyle to those of previous generations. However, Canadian author Douglas Coupland was responsible for popularizing the term, with his more successful publication "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture". By the latest accepted definition, Gen Xers were born from 1961 to 1981.
38. Plessy v. ___ (landmark Supreme Court decision) : FERGUSON
In 1890 the State of Louisiana enacted a statute requiring separate accommodations for African Americans and whites on trains, called the Separate Car Act. An alliance of African American and white activists arranged for one Homer Plessy to be arrested for breaking the law, so that they could forward an appeal to the US Supreme Court. However, the plan backfired when the decision of the upper court led to the doctrine of "separate but equal", a doctrine that remained in place until it was struck down in 1954 by Brown v. Board of Education.
40. Gate opener for Apollo : EOS
In Greek mythology, Eos is the goddess of the dawn who lived at the edge of the ocean. She would wake each morning and open the gates of heaven to allow Apollo to ride his chariot across the sky (the sun).
42. Drew Barrymore hosted this show at age 7: Abbr. : SNL
Drew Barrymore has quite the pedigree, being a granddaughter of Hollywood icon John Barrymore. She appeared in her first movie at the age of five, in 1980's "Altered States", but her big break was in 1982's "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial". That same year she became the youngest host of "Saturday Night Live" at the age of seven. She has been invited back to host the show quite a few times and has now hosted six times, more than any other female celebrity.
43. Est., e.g., once : SSR
Estonia is one of the former Soviet Socialist Republics. It is located in Northern Europe on the Baltic Sea, due south of Finland. Estonia has been overrun and ruled by various empires over the centuries. Estonia did enjoy a few years of freedom at the beginning of the 20th century after a war of independence against the Russian Empire. However, the country was occupied again during WWII, first by the Russians and then the Germans, and reoccupied by the Soviets in 1944. Estonia has flourished as an independent country again since the collapse of the USSR in 1991.
46. Approximately 946 of these make a qt. : MLS
There are about 946 milliliters in a US liquid quart.
47. Bouquet : pheasants :: covey : ___ : QUAIL
The Middle French word for a "brood", in the sense of a "brood of quail" is "covée". We took covée" into English as "covey", a collective name for quail.
49. Volkswagen model : JETTA
The name Jetta is one in a series of names used by Volkswagen related to winds. For example Jetta (from German for "jet stream"", Passat (from German for "trade wind").
51. Hockey's Phil, to fans : ESPO
Phil Esposito is a former professional hockey player, who played for the Chicago Black Hawks, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers.
55. "Dianetics" author ___ Hubbard : L. RON
L. Ron Hubbard wrote a self-improvement book in 1950 called "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health". A few years later the concepts were used in the founding of the Church of Scientology.
56. How some gym instructors stand : AKIMBO
We're all familiar with the expression "arms akimbo". Akimbo is such a lovely word, I think, so just I had to look up its etymology. The research failed to dig up anything too exciting though. It seems to stem from Middle English, "in kekbowe" or "on kenbow" meaning something to do with "bend in a curve".
59. *Brand with the challenge to lose one inch from your waist in two weeks : SPECIAL K
We've been eating Special K since 1956. You've got to give credit to the marketing folks at Kelloggs as I am sure we all view special K as a diet breakfast cereal. In fact, there is more fat in Special K than Kelloggs Corn Flakes, and just one less calorie per serving.
62. Sweet wine : MUSCATEL
The muscat grape is used to make wine, and is also grown for raisins and table grapes. Muscat is used a lot on Chilean table wines, and relatively rarely in Italian and Californian table wines. However, muscat is used extensively in fortified wines in all wine-growing regions of the world. The sweet dessert wine made from muscat in Spain is called muscatel.
64. Hayes portrayer in "The Mod Squad," 1999 : EPPS
The 1999 movie "The Mod Squad" was an adaptation of the television show of the same name. The part of Lincoln Hayes was played by Omar Epps.
Omar Epps is the actor who plays Dr. Eric Foreman on the excellent television series "House". Prior to playing Dr. Foreman, Epps had a recurring role playing Dr. Dennis Grant on "ER". And, in another link to the world of medicine, Epps was born in Savannah, Georgia to single mom, Dr. Bonnie Epps.
5. Number of tiles per Scrabble set for the letter at the end of the answer to each starred clue : ONE
The game of Scrabble has been around since 1938, the invention of an architect named Alfred Moshoer Butts. Butts determined the optimum number of tiles of each letter, and the appropriate point value of each tile, by analyzing letter distributions in publications like "The New York Times" ...
4. ___-pitch : SLO
Slo-pitch, or slow-pitch, a type of softball.
7. Mexican silver center : TAXCO
Taxco de Alarcón is a small city in southern Mexico. Taxco is a center for silver mining, and is also well known for the production of silverware and fine items made using silver.
8. Trick : GET
To "get" someone is to "trick" that person.
9. Chiwere-speaking tribe : OTO
Chiwere is a Siouan language spoken by the Otoe people, as well as the Missouria and Iowa peoples.
10. "And ___ the field the road runs by": Tennyson : THRO
"The Lady of Shalott" is a beautiful poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. The storyline is based on the Arthurian legend of Elaine of Astolat. The opening lines are:
"On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky.
And thro' the field the road runs by
To many-tower'd Camelot"
11. Courtroom cry : OYEZ OYEZ
"Oyez" is an Anglo-French word traditionally called out three times, meaning "hear ye!"
13. Lockjaw : TETANUS
Tetanus is caused by a bacterial infection, generally contracted through an infected wound. As the infection spreads throughout the body a toxin produced by the bacterium causes prolonged contraction of skeletal muscles. One muscle that is notably affected is in the jaw, giving the condition its common name, "lockjaw".
15. ___-1 ("Ghostbusters" vehicle) : ECTO
1984's "Ghostbusters" really is a fun movie. It stars Bill Murray and Harold Ramis, and was directed by Ivan Reitman (a trio that also worked together on 1981's "Stripes"). The first draft of the screenplay was written by another star of the movie, Dan Akroyd. Akroyd originally envisioned "Ghostbusters" as a vehicle for himself and John Belushi, but sadly Belushi passed away before the project could be realized.
24. *"What Do You Do With a B.A. in English?" musical : AVENUE Q
"Avenue Q" is a musical inspired by "Sesame Street", with puppets being used for all the characters on the stage. It's an adult-oriented show, but a parody on the children's show. Some of the characters are clearly knock-offs of "Sesame Street" favorites e.g. Rod and Nicky (Bert and Ernie) and Trekkie Monster (Cookie Monster).
26. ___ régime : ANCIEN
The Ancien Régime (French for "Old Régime") is the term used to describe the system of aristocracy and the social and political structure that reigned supreme in the 15th through 18th centuries in France, right up to the French Revolution.
27. *Performer born James Todd Smith : LL COOL J
Rap star LL Cool J was born James Todd Smith. His stage name stands for "Ladies Love Cool James".
31. Mocedades hit subtitled "Touch the Wind" : ERES TU
We have a big event across Europe every year called the Eurovision Song Contest. Each nation enters one song in competition with each other, and then voters across the whole continent decide on the winner. That's how ABBA got their big break, as they were Sweden's entry debuting their song "Waterloo". In 1972, Spain's entry was "Eres tu" sung by the band Mocedades. "Eres tu" is the Spanish for "you are". It is a great song, that came in second but should have won, in my humble opinion.
33. Urges : YENS
The word "yen" meaning "urge" has been around in English since the very early 1900s. It comes from the earlier word "yin", imported from Chinese, which was used in English to describe an intense craving for opium!
35. Japanese surname follower : SAN
The word "san" is added to a person's name as a sign of respect, and is similar to our usage of "Mr." or "Ms."
37. Latin lover's bouquet, maybe : ROSAS
"Rosa", the Spanish for "rose".
38. Where the N.S.A. is headquartered : FT. MEADE
Fort George G. Meade is located near Odenton, Maryland, and is most famous these days as the location of the headquarters of the National Security Agency.
43. Prefix with cumulus : STRATO
Stratocumulus clouds are large, dark clouds, often associated with a "dull" day. Personally, as someone from rainy Ireland living in sunny California, I just love those stratocumulus clouds ...
48. "Hello ___" (Todd Rundgren hit) : IT'S ME
Todd Rundgren is an American musician who had a solo career as well as success in the seventies and eighties with the band Utopia. Rundgren's most famous song, that he composed himself and recorded, is "Hello, It's Me" from 1968.
50. Director Kazan : ELIA
Elia Kazan won Oscars for best director in 1948 for "Gentleman's Agreement" and in 1955 for "On The Waterfront". In 1999, he was given an Academy Lifetime Achievement Award.
52. Bygone science/sci-fi magazine : OMNI
I used to enjoy reading the magazine "OMNI", a very entertaining yet interesting read. It was founded in 1978 by Kathy Keeton, wife of Bob Guccione the publisher of "Penthouse". The print magazine folded in 1995, and a web version continued for a few years, until Keeton passed away in 1998.
54. Sued party in a legal case: Abbr. : RESP
The respondent is the one who is sued.
57. Michael Jackson's first #1 solo hit : BEN
The song "Ben" was recorded by Michael Jackson in 1972. The song was originally written for Donny Osmond, but as he wasn't available to record, it was offered to Michael Jackson. The song was written as the theme song for the 1972 horror film "Ben", the sequel to the icky but successful "Willard", a killer-rat movie.
60. Hosp. units : CCS
Liquids are usually measured in cubic centimeters (ccs) in hospitals.
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