10. Bits of land in la Seine : ILES
There are two famous islands (iles, in French) in the middle of la Seine (the River Seine) in Paris, one being the Île de la Cité, and the other Île Saint-Louis. Île de la Cité is the most famous of the two, as it is home to the cathedral of Notre Dame.
14. 2003 Sandler/Nicholson comedy : ANGER MANAGEMENT
“Anger Management” is a 2003 comedy starring the great Jack Nicholson, and Adam Sandler. I love Jack Nicholson movies, but Adam Sandler … not so much. So, I haven’t seen this one.
17. 1940 Crosby/Lamour/Hope film that was the first of a “travel” series : ROAD TO SINGAPORE
1940’s “Road to Singapore” was the first of the wonderful “Road” series of movies starring Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour. The trio had great chemistry on screen, but there was a bit of luck involved in bringing the three together. The movie was first offered to Fred McMurray and Jack Oakie, and then to George Burns and Gracie Allen. Everyone declined the roles, with Gracie Allen even saying that she “thought the whole thing was silly”. The next tactic was to cast Dorothy Lamour who was riding a wave of popularity, but who could take the male leads? A chance was taken and it was decided to pair Hope and Crosby together for the first time, and see how they did together. Arguably, Hope and Crosby became the most popular pair on the big screen in the history of cinema.
18. Yalies : ELIS
Eli is the nickname for a graduate of Yale University, a term used in honor of the Yale benefactor Elihu Yale.
19. Part of NATO: Abbr. : ORG
NATO is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (or OTAN in French, l’Oganisation du Traite de l’Atlantique Nord). NATO was founded not long after WWII, in 1949, and is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. The first NATO Secretary General was Lord Ismay, Winston Churchill’s chief military assistant during WWII. Famously he said the goal of NATO was “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”
20. “Mad Men” extras : STENOS
If you haven’t seen the AMC show “Mad Men” then I urge you to go buy the first season on DVD and just let yourself fall under its spell. It is a great series set in the sixties, telling all that goes on in and around the advertising business on Madison Avenue in New York City. It brings you right back to the days of three-martini lunches, office affairs, and chain-smoking of cigarettes. Great stuff …
22. Actor Bert : LAHR
Bert Lahr’s most famous role was that of the cowardly lion in “The Wizard of Oz”. Lahr had a long career in burlesque, vaudeville and on Broadway. Remember the catchphrase made famous by the cartoon character Snagglepuss, “Heavens to Murgatroyd!”? Snagglepuss stole that line from a 1944 movie called, “Meet the People” where it was first uttered by Bert Lahr.
24. Mystery writer Deighton : LEN
I used to walk my dog right past author Len Deighton’s house years ago, as we used to live in the same village in Ireland (probably my only claim to fame!). Deighton wrote the excellent espionage thriller “The IPCRESS File”, made into a 1965 movie starring Michael Caine.
27. Big name in baseball cards : TOPPS
Topps was a relaunch of an older company called American Leaf Tobacco, with the Topps name used from 1938. The earlier company was in trouble because it could not get supplies of its Turkish tobacco, so it moved into another chewy industry, making bubblegum.
33. Gelatinous ingredient in desserts : AGAR
Agar is a jelly extracted from seaweed, with many uses. It is found in Japanese desserts, can be used as a laxative, as a food thickener, and is the most common medium used for growing bacteria in petri dishes.
34. First X or O, say : TIC
When playing tic-tac-toe, one can win with OOO or XXX. When I was growing up in Ireland, we played “noughts and crosses” … our name for tic-tac-toe.
37. 1971 film that was Cybill Shepherd’s debut, with “The” : LAST PICTURE SHOW
The 1971 coming of age movie “The Last Picture Show” was directed by Peter Bogdanovich, and is based on the semi-autobiographical novel of the same name by Larry McMurty. There’s a famous skinny-dipping scene in the film which caused some controversy soon after release, with the city of Phoenix actually banning the movie citing an Arizona obscenity statute. It took a federal court to determine that the film was not in fact obscene. I recommend this one …
41. 1954 Elia Kazan Oscar winner : ON THE WATERFRONT
The 1954 drama “On the Waterfront” told a story of violence and corruption among longshoremen, and was based on a series of 24 articles written by investigative journalist Malcolm Johnston and published in “The New York Sun”. The original news stories uncovered mob infiltration on the New York City Waterfront, but in the film, the location was changed to Hoboken, New Jersey.
42. Bout stopper : TKO
In boxing (and other sports), a knockout (KO) is when one of the fighters can’t get up from the canvas within a specified time, usually 10 seconds. This can be due to fatigue, injury, or the participant may be truly “knocked out”. A referee, fighter, or doctor may also decide to stop a fight without a knockout having taking place, especially if there is concern about a fighter’s safety. In this case, the bout is said to have been ended by a technical knockout (TKO).
43. Author Philip : ROTH
Author Philip Roth’s two most famous works are probably his 1959 novella “Goodbye, Columbus” for which he won a National Book Award, and his extremely controversial 1969 novel “Portnoy’s Complaint”. The latter title was banned in some libraries in the US, and was listed as a “prohibited import” in Australia. The controversy surrounded Roth’s treatment of the sexuality of the main character, a young Jewish bachelor undergoing psychoanalysis, for his “complaint”.
44. Some razors : ATRAS
Fortunately for crossword setters, the Atra razor was introduced by Gillette in 1977. It was sold as the Contour in some markets, and its derivative products are still around today.
45. Ergo : HENCE
“Ergo”: the Latin word for “hence, therefore”.
46. Pugilists’ grp. : WBA
The World Boxing Association is linked to a group of pugilists, boxers.
47. Blood-typing syst. : ABO
The most important grouping of blood types is the ABO system. Blood is classified as either A, B, AB or O, depending on the type of antigens on the surface of the red blood cells. A secondary designation of blood is the Rh factor, in which other antigens are labelled as either positive or negative. When a patient receives a blood transfusion, ideally the donor blood should be the same as that of the recipient, as incompatible blood cells can be rejected by the recipient. However, blood type O-Neg can be accepted by recipients with all blood types, AB or O, positive or negative. Hence someone with O-neg blood type is called a “universal donor”.
49. Mystery writer Edward D. ___ : HOCH
Edward D. Hoch was a write of detective fiction, a prolific writer in fact. Although he only wrote a few novels, by the time of his death in 2008 he had published over 900 short stories.
54. World Cup chant : OLE OLE
“Ole Ole Ole!” is chanted at soccer games by many Spanish speaking (or shouting) fans. I am very proud to claim that the fans of the Irish national team have adopted the chant as their own, and it can be heard practically non-stop when Ireland is playing (with some inventive melody behind it!).
57. Singer/actress Zadora : PIA
Pia Zadora is an American actress and singer. Her most famous role was in 1982 film “Butterfly” in which she got to work with Orson Welles and Stacey Keach. The film was based on the novel “The Butterfly” by James M. Cain, and deals with the difficult subject of father-daughter incest.
58. Lomond, e.g. : LOCH
I would guess that Loch Lomond 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 …
59. 2008 film derived from Dr. Seuss : HORTON HEARS A WHO!
The 2008 animated feature film “Horton Hears a Who!” is the third book by Dr. Seuss adapted for the big screen. The first was “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” from 2000 starring Jim Carrey, and the second was 2003’s “The Cat in the Hat” starring Mike Myers. Unlike its predecessors, “Horton Hears a Who!” is completely CGI-animated so there are no live actors on the screen, but Jim Carrey most love his Dr. Seuss, because he provides the voice of Horton the elephant.
62. 1986 film for which Paul Newman won his only Oscar : THE COLOR OF MONEY
“The Color of Money” is a 1986 movie, a sequel to the classic 1961 film “The Hustler”. Both films star Paul Newman as pool hustler Edward Felson, or “Fast Eddie” as he is better known. Both films are screen adaptations of novels of the same name by Walter Tevis. I find it amazing that Paul Newman had to wait until this role in 1986, when he was 61 years old, to receive his one and only Best Actor Oscar.
64. Proverbial heptad : SEAS
A heptad, a group of seven, like the Seven Seas (from the idiom “sail the Seven Seas”).
2. ___ Gay, historic plane displayed by the Smithsonian : ENOLA
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.
3. “Encore!” : AGAIN
“Encore” is the French word for “again”.
4. N.L. Central team : REDS
The Red Scare following WWII had such an effect on the populace that it even caused the Cincinnati baseball team to change its name from the Reds. The team was called the Cincinnati Redlegs from 1953-1958, fearful of losing money due the public distrust of anyone associated with “Reds”.
5. “I pity the fool” speaker : MR T
Mr. T’s real name is Laurence Tureaud. He is famous for many things, including wearing excessive amounts of jewelry. He started this habit when he was working as a bouncer, wearing jewelry items that had been left by customers at the night club, so that the items might be recognized and claimed. It was also as a bouncer that he adopted the name Mr. T. Mr. T’s catchphrase comes from the movie “Rocky III”. Before he goes up against Rocky Balboa, Mr. T says, “No, I don’t hate Balboa, but I pity the fool”. He parlayed the line into a little success. He had a reality TV show called “I Pity the Fool”, and a motivational video called “Be Somebody … or Be Somebody’s Fool!”.
6. Mideast city whose name, coincidentally, is an anagram of ARABS : BASRA
It’s quite a coincidence that the Iraqi city of Basra has a name that is an anagram of “Arabs”, isn’t it? Basra also features in the H. G. Wells science-fiction tale “The Shape of Things to Come”. Written in 1933, the storyline predicts a global conflict (WWII) that breaks out in 1940 lasting for ten years, after which chaos reigns as no victor emerges. Following worldwide plague, a benevolent dictatorship emerges, and the world moves towards a serene utopia. In time, the dictators are overthrown and peacefully retired, and the people of the Earth live happily ever after, all citizens of one, global state, with its capital in Basra in the Middle East.
7. 1935 Marx Brothers romp : A NIGHT AT THE OPERA
The five Mark Brothers were born to “Minnie” and “Frenchy” Marx in New York City. The more famous, three older boys were Chico, Harpo and Groucho. The youngest brother, Zeppo, appeared in the early Marx Brothers movies, but the fifth son Gummo, he went off to pursue his own career off the stage.
“A Night at the Opera” is the 1935 Mark Brothers film that was the first movie which Chico, Harpo and Groucho appeared without their brother Zeppo. It’s really great entertainment!
11. Sierra ___ : LEONE
The Republic of Sierra Leone is a country in West Africa, lying on the Atlantic Coast. The capital city of Freetown was originally set up as a colony to house the “Black Poor” of London, England. These people were mainly freed British slaves of Caribbean descent, who were living a miserable life in the run-down parts of London. Perhaps to help the impoverished souls, perhaps to rid the streets of “a problem”, three ships were chartered in 1787 to transport a groups of blacks, with some whites, to land purchased in Sierra Leone. Those who made the voyage were guaranteed British citizenship and protection. The descendants of these immigrants, and others who made the journey over the next 60 years, make up the ethnic group that’s today called the Sierra Leone Creole.
12. Bankrupt company in 2001-02 news : ENRON
After all trials following the exposure of the fraud at Enron, several of the key players ended up in jail. Andrew Fastow was the Chief Financial Officer. He plea-bargained and received ten years without parole, and became the key witness in the trials of others. Even Fastow’s wife was involved, and sentenced to one year for helping her husband hide money. Jeffrey Skilling (ex-CEO) was sentenced to 24 years and 4 months. Kenneth Lay (CEO) died in 2006 after he had been found guilty and before he could be sentenced. The accounting firm Arthur Andersen was found guilty of obstruction of justice for shredding thousands of pertinent documents and deleting emails and files (a decision that the Supreme Court overturned on a technicality). But still, Arthur Andersen collapsed under the weight of the scandal and 85,000 people lost their jobs (despite only a handful being directly involved with Enron).
13. Fr. holy women : STES
Some holy women in France are saints (saintes, in French).
15. Lettuce or kale : MOOLA
Lettuce, kale and moola (also moolah) are slang terms for money.
26. Current unit : AMPERE
The unit of electric current is the ampere, abbreviated correctly to “A”. It is named after French physicist Andre-Marie Ampere, one of the main scientists responsible for the discovery of electromagnetism.
28. Henry VIII’s sixth : PARR
Henry VIII was of course the English King with the most wives. Well, something rubbed off on his last wife, Catherine Parr. She was to become the English Queen with the most husbands! By the time she married Henry, she had been widowed twice, and after Henry died, she married once again.
32. “___ perpetua” (Idaho’s motto) : ESTO
“Esto perpetua” is the Latin phrase meaning, “Let it be perpetual”. It is used as the motto of a number of groups, as well as the state of Idaho. The words are attributed to the theologian Paolo Sarpi (Fra Paolo), his last words, a wish for his native Venice, “let it be perpetual”.
34. Thursday’s eponym : THOR
Thor is the Norse god of thunder, wielding his mighty hammer. One day of the week recognized by pagans during the days of the Roman Empire was Thor’s Day, named for the Norse god. We now know it as Thursday. Thor’s mother was Frigg, and she was honored on Frigg’s Day, which we now call Friday.
35. College in New Rochelle, N.Y. : IONA
Iona College is a Roman Catholic college run by the Christian Brothers, in New Rochelle, New York.
36. 100-lb. units : CWTS
In the very sensible country of America, a hundredweight is 100 pounds. In the UK, of course a hundredweight has to be 112 pounds. The hundredweight is also called a centum weight, which explains the abbreviation used: cwt.
40. Mex. miss : SRTA
A young lady is addressed as “miss” north of the border, and “senorita” south of the border.
45. The sauce : HOOTCH
In the Klondike gold rush, a favorite tipple of the miners was “Hoochinoo”, a liquor made by the native Alaskans. Soon after “hooch” (also “hootch”) was adopted as a word for cheap whiskey.
47. Lei-person’s greeting? : ALOHA
Aloha has many meanings in English: affection, love, peace, compassion and mercy. More recently it has come to mean “hello” and “goodbye”, but only since the mid-1800s.
48. Covering for la tête : BERET
A Frenchman would place his beret on his head (tête).
50. Pietro’s ta-tas : CIAOS
Pietro is the Italian name for Peter, so he would say goobye (ta-ta), as “ciao”.
51. Olde ___ (historic area, quaintly) : TOWNE
The word “olde” wasn’t actually used much earlier than the 1920s. It was introduced to give a quaint, antique feel to brand names, shop names etc.
54. “___ be in England …” : OH TO
Robert Browning met Elizabeth Barrett in 1845. Elizabeth was a sickly woman, confined to her parents’ house in Wimpole Street in London, largely due to the conservative, protective nature of her father. The two eventually eloped in 1846, and lived in self-inflicted exile in Italy. Away from the country of his birth, Browning was moved to write his now famous “Home Thoughts, From Abroad”, the first line of which is “Oh, to be in England …”
55. Old card game with forfeits : LOO
The old card game of loo was popular in the 17th century. It was a game involving trumps and the taking of tricks. As part of the game, a player might be “looed”, not win any tricks at all in a particular round. As such, he or she has to pay a forfeit, a sum added to the pool awarded to the eventual winner.
56. Photo blowups: Abbr. : ENLS
Photos that are blown up in size are called enlargements.
58. Vientiane’s country : LAOS
Vientiane is the capital city of Laos, situated on the famous Mekong River. The city was originally called the “city of sandalwood” by Buddhist monks, naming after the valued trees that grew in the area. The French took the Pali words for “city of sandalwood” and rewrote it as the French-sounding “Vientiane”.
The official name for the country of Laos is the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. In the Lao language, the name is “Meuang Lao”. The French ruled the country as part of French Indochina, having united three separate Lao kingdoms. As there was a plural of “Lao” entities united into one, the French added the “S” and so today we tend to use “Laos” instead of “Lao”.
60. Implement in a Millet painting : HOE
Although I did not recognize the name, now that I’ve done a look-up, I do recognize some of the work of Jean-François Millet. I’ve had the privilege of viewing a couple of his paintings in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris a few times. Millet spent much of his time painting peasant farmers in the countryside surrounding Barbizon, where he lived in France. Millet’s most celebrated work is called “The Gleaners”, which depicts poor women taking advantage of their centuries-old right to remove the bits of grain left in the fields following the harvest.
61. Dallas sch. : SMU
Southern Methodist University (SMU) is located in University Park, Texas (part of Dallas), and was founded in 1911. In 2008, President George W. Bush agreed to the selection of SMU as the site for his Presidential Library. The library is now under construction and is expected to open in 2013.