THEME: EVERY ACROSS ANSWER READS FROM RIGHT TO LEFT … and, every across answer reads a word in English, even though it is written backwards e.g PEELS/SLEEP, SLOP/POLS, GRO/ORG, RECAP/PACER
COMPLETION TIME: 16m 33s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
1. Skins : PEELS
6. It’s hardly haute cuisine : SLOP
“Pol” is an informal term for a politician.
Scott’s Miracle-Gro Company was founded in 1868, by one Orlando Scott, initially selling seed to the agricultural industry. In the early 1900s it started to sell to homeowners, mainly supplying lawn seed. The company merged with the gardening company Miracle-Gro in 1955.
The Internet addresses that end with the letters .org were originally intended for use by non-profit organizations, but as anyone can register a .org name, there are plenty of commercial concerns that use it … so be careful!
13. Go over again : RECAP
14. “___ girl!” : IT’S A
Asti is in the Piedmont region of northwestern Italy. It is perhaps most famous for its Asti Spumante sparkling white wine.
Mt. Etna is the largest of three active volcanoes in Italy, about 2 1/2 times the height of its equally famous sister, Mt Vesuvius.
You need to “ante up” if you want to play (poker, say).
As we all know, the Enola Gay was the B-29 that dropped the first atomic bomb. Enola Gay was the name of the mother of the pilot, Col. Paul W. Tibbets, Jr.
17. Move text around : EDIT
Neap tides are when the difference between the height of the water at high tide and low tide is relatively small. Spring tide is the opposite, when there is a big swing in the height of the water. Tides of course are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon on the oceans. At neap tide, the lesser gravitational effect of the sun cancels out some of the moon’s effect. At spring tides, the sun and the moon’s gravities act in concert causing more extreme movement of the oceans.
18. Not a dupe: Abbr. : ORIG
An original is not a duplicate.
The Giro system is very similar to electronic bill pay. It’s a bank transfer of funds from one account to another, in which the transfer is initiated by the payer, without the use of a check. This difference is less important these days, as we have debit cards and electronic clearing of checks. But not so long ago, a system that bypassed the check was a time-saver.
19. On the ___ : LAM
To be “on the lam” is to be in flight, to have escaped from prison. It is American slang that originated at the end of the 19th century. The word “lam” also means to “beat” or “thrash”, as in “lambaste”, so “on the lam” might derive from the phrase “to beat it”, to scram.
“Mal” is a Latin (or French) word meaning “bad”, as in malcontent. A “Mal” is also a type of surfboard, short for “Malibu”. Take your pick …
20. Goddess of discord : ERIS
In Greek mythology, Eris is the goddess of strife and discord. The name “Eris” is derived from the Greek word for strife, and indeed translates into Latin as “Discordia”. In Greek her counterpart is Harmonia, and in the world of the Roman gods, Concordia. The largest dwarf planet in our solar system is called Eris, named after the goddess.
The first successful process for removing caffeine from coffee involved steaming the beans in salt water, and then extracting the caffeine using benzene (a potent carcinogen) as a solvent. Coffee processed this way was sold as Sanka here in the US. There are other processes used these days, and let’s hope they are safer …
23. Season opener? : ESS
S (ess) is the first letter of “season”, the season opener, as it were.
SSE: South-South-East, the direction.
24. Start of instructions for solving this puzzle : EVERY ACROSS
38. Instructions, part 2 : ANSWER READS FROM
47. End of the instructions : RIGHT TO LEFT
27. Winter air : NOEL
Noel is the French word for the Christmas season, ultimately coming from the Latin word for “birth”, “natalis”.
28. Relative of -esque : ISH
HSI is the abbreviation for the Hang Seng Index, the most important stock market index reported from Hong Kong. The index was started in 1969, by one of the largest banks in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Bank.
The word “helicoptor” is ultimately derived from Greek, with “helix” meaning “spiral” or “turning”, and “pteron” meaning “wing”.
32. A number one : TOPS
34. Misses : GALS
The better lead ores are processed in a blast furnace, to extract the metal. The “waste” from this process is called “slag”. Slag does contain some lead, and it can be processed further in a “slag furnace” to extract that metal. Slag furnaces also take the poorer lead ores as a raw material.
38. Instructions, part 2 : ANSWER READS FROM
41. Aids for police detectives : TIPS
42. Lake bordered by four states : ERIE
Lake Erie is the fourth largest of the Great Lakes (Lake Ontario is the smallest). The Lake takes its name from the Erie tribe of Native Americans that used to live along its southern shore. Lake Erie is bordered by four states: New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan.
The Latin word for Ireland is Hibernia. Erin is an anglicized version of Eire, the Irish word for Ireland (actually Erin comes from “Eirinn”, the dative case of Eire).
43. Female, formally : MADAM
Supposedly, “The Glass Key” was the novel that was Dashiell Hammett’s favorite among his own works. Published in 1931, it features the gambler and racketeer Ned Beaumont as the hero. The book was made into two films, once in 1935 (starring George Raft), and once in 1942 (starring Alan Ladd).
In the 1954 movie version of “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea“, Captain Nemo goes down with his ship. In the novel by Jules Verne, the fate of Nemo and his crew isn’t quite so cut and dry, although the inference is perhaps that they did indeed head for Davy Jones’s Locker.
47. End of the instructions : RIGHT TO LEFT
52. Voyage kickoff? : BON
One kicks off the phrase “bon voyage” with the word “bon”. Bon voyage translates literally from French into English as “good journey”.
As one might expect, Nilla is a shortened from of “vanilla”. However, you won’t find any vanilla in Nilla cookies or wafers. They always been flavored with vanillin, synthetic vanilla. Is nothing sacred?
56. Height: Prefix : ACRO
Our prefix “acro-” comes from the Greek “akros” meaning “at the top”.
The taxonomic name for the killer whale is Orcinus orca, with use of the name “orca” is becoming more and more common in English. The Latin word “Orcinus” means “belonging to Orcus”, and Orcus being the name for the Kingdom of the Dead.
57. Suffix with ranch : ERO
A ranchero is a ranch owner.
A rood is a crucifix that specifically symbolizes the cross on which Jesus was crucified.
59. Word from a Latin lover? : AMAT
Amo, amas, amat … Latin for “I love, you love, he/she loves”.
Tama Janowitz is an American writer, born in San Francisco, but who has lived much of her life in New York City. In New York she hung around with the likes of Andy Warhol and became well known in literary circles. Her most famous work is a collection of short stories called “Slaves of New York“, which was made into a film of the same name in 1989.
61. Matriculate : ENROL
The literal meaning of “matriculate” is “to be added to a list”, and it comes from the Latin word “matrix”, meaning “list”. Matriculate has be used to describe the enrollment of a student in a college since the late 1500s.
Lorne is man’s name.
“Mystery Men” is a comedy released in 1999 that tells the tale of three lesser superheroes, played by William H. Macy, Ben Stiller and Hank Azaria. Although the movie didn’t make it big at the box office, it appears to have a cult following.
64. Penthouse pinups : PETS
“Penthouse” men’s magazine was founded by Bob Guccione, and was originally published in 1965 in the UK. It was rolled out in the US four years later, in 1969. There was a major controversy surrounding the appearance of future porn star Traci Lords as an 1984 centerfold. It was revealed some time later that Lords was just 15-years-old when she posed for her photographs.
65. Rover : NOMAD
Damon is a man’s name.
66. Figs. : NOS.
POOH probably refers to a fictional character, either Pooh-Bah from Gilbert & Sullivan’s “The Mikado“, or perhaps Winnie the Pooh from A. A. Milne’s classic children’s tales.
68. Divisions politiques : ETATS
Etats (states) are divisions politiques (political divisions) in France.
1. Bombards with e-junk : SPAMS
I think it may be true that the term SPAM for unwanted email is taken from a “Monty Python” sketch. In the sketch, the dialog is taken over by the word SPAM, a play on the glut of canned meat in the markets in Britain after WWII. So SPAM is a term for emails that take over online communication. I can just imagine nerdy Internet types adopting something from a “Monty Python” sketch to describe an online phenomenon.
2. Lots of “Deck the Halls” : LA LAS
In the Christmas carol “Deck the Halls”, the refrain features a lot of “fa la las”. It is believed that in the original version of the song, which originated in Wales, the “fa la las” were actually played on the harp.
3. Professeur’s place : ECOLE
Ecole is the French word for “school”.
4. Poet’s time of day : E’EN
In poetry, e’en is used as a contraction for evening, but also for the adverb “even”.
5. Ones whose work is decreasing? : PRESSERS
Pressers take the creases out of clothes.
6. Denis, to France : PATRON SAINT
Not only is Saint Denis the patron saint of France, but he is also the patron saint of Paris. He was the Bishop of Paris in the 3rd century AD, and was martyred by having his head chopped off. The legend surrounding this event is that the executed Denis picked up his head and walked for six miles, delivering a sermon the whole way.
7. Flexible weaving material : OSIER
Most willows (trees and shrubs of the genus Salix) are called just that, willows. Some of the broad-leaved shrub varieties are called sallow, and the narrow-leaved shrubs are called osier.
8. British co. : LTD
In Britain and Ireland the most common type of business (my perception anyway) is one with private shareholders (not publicly traded) and the liability of the shareholders is limited by law to the value of their investment. Such a company is known as a private limited company, and has the letters “Ltd” after the name. If the shares are publicly traded, then the company is a public limited company, and has the letters “plc” after the name.
9. “Sprechen ___ Deutsch?” : SIE
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? … Do you speak German?
10. Not neat : ON ICE
The adjective “neat” has been used to describe “straight liquor” since about 1800. Before then, the term applied to wine, when it meant “unadulterated wine”. The term comes from Old French “net” meaning “clear, pure”.
11. Prelate’s title: Abbr. : RT REV
A prelate is a high-ranking clergy member. Prelate comes from the Latin word “praelatus” meaning “to set above”, so a prelate is one who is set above others. Prelates can be addressed as the Right Reverend.
12. All-natural sparkler : GEODE
A geode is a naturally occurring rock in which there is a cavity lined with, or filled with crystal formations.
15. John who co-starred in “Sands of Iwo Jima” : AGAR
“Sands of Iwo Jima” is a WWII was film released in 1949. The movie follows US Marines from boot camp through to the Battle of Iwo Jima, and stars John Agar and John Wayne. Interestingly, the film dialog contains the first recorded use of the phrase “lock and load”, to mean “get ready to fight”, as well as “get ready to drink!”.
21. Prefix with metric : ISO
The word “isometric” comes from Greek, and means “having equal measurement”. Isometric exercise is a resistance exercise in which the muscle does not change in length (and the joint angle stays the same). The alternative would be dynamic exercises, ones using the full range of motion of the joint.
22. “This might be of interest,” on a memo : FYI
For Your Information.
25. Stage : CHOREOGRAPH
The word “choreograph” comes into English via French, but originates in Greek. The Greek “khoreia” means “dance” and “graphein” mean “to write”.
26. College sci. class : ASTR
Astronomy can be a college science class.
27. Overhead cost for an artist? : LOFT
Nicely worded clue …
29. Bldg. units : RMS
A building has rooms.
30. “Alley ___!” : OOP
French people, and French circus acrobats in particular, use the phrase “allez hop!” as words of encouragement, sort of like our “let’s go!”. The phrase was anglicized to “alley oop”.
“Alley Oop” is a comic strip that ran for four decades starting in 1932. It was drawn by V. T. Hamlin.
33. ___ curiam (like some court rulings) : PER
Literally, “per curiam” means “by the court” translated from Latin. In the law, a per curiam decision is one made by a court with multiple judges, with the court acting as a whole. Most of the US Supreme Court decisions and opinions would be described as per curiam.
34. Constellation next to the Dragon, with “the” : SWAN
The constellation of the Swan is more commonly called Cygnus.
The constellation of the Dragon is more commonly called Draco.
35. Much-discussed initials of a 1967 Beatles song : LSD
One day in 1966, Julian Lennon came home from nursery school and showed his Dad a drawing he had made of his classmate, a little girl called Lucy O’Donnell. Julian described the artwork as “Lucy … in the sky with diamonds”. And that is where John Lennon and Paul McCartney got the inspiration for their hit song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds“. The implied drug reference in the title is an urban myth, although a myth that did lead to the BBC banning the song from their airwaves. None of the Beatles noticed that the song’s initials spelled out LSD, probably because they were all high on LSD at the time …
36. Bibliographic suffix : ANA
An ana (or plural anas) is a collection, including literature, that represent the character of a particular place or a person. Ana can be used as a noun, or as a suffix.
39. It bugs bugs : DEET
DEET is short for N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide, an active ingredient in insect repellents. It is most often used to repel mosquitoes by applying it to the skin and/or clothing, but is also used to protect against tick bites.
46. Bit of A/V equipment : MIC
A microphone is a bit of audio-visual equipment.
48. 1988 Olympic track star, informally : FLO-JO
The American track and field athlete Florence Griffith-Joyner was also known as Flo-Jo. Her 1988 records for the 100m and 200m were set in 1988, and amazingly, they still stand today. Sadly, Flo-Jo was only 38 years old when she died in her sleep in 1998 due to epilepsy.
49. Online financial services company : E-LOAN
E-Loan used to be based just down the road from me in the San Francisco Bay Area, but after takeover by a Rosemount, Illinois company it was moved to the parent’s headquarters. E-Loan was founded in 1997 to provide customers access to mortgages over the Internet.
50. One way to N.Y.C.’s Penn Sta. : LIRR
The Long Island Rail Road is the commuter rail service that runs all over Long Island, New York, with 124 stations and 700 miles of track. More people use the LIRR than any other commuter railroad in the US. It is also the only commuter railroad in the country that operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
51. Prefix with -path : HOMEO
Homeopathy is an alternative medicine, one that focuses on the use of highly diluted preparations.
52. Bellini opera : NORMA
“Norma” is an opera written by Vincenzo Bellini, first performed in 1831. One aria from the work is “Casta diva”, one of the most popular arias in the 1800s.
54. Designer Geoffrey : BEENE
Geoffrey Beene was an American fashion designer. On his list of notable clients were three First Ladies, Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon and Nancy Reagan.
59. Abbr. on a cough syrup bottle : TSP
You might see the abbreviation tsp. for teaspoon, on a bottle of cough syrup.