1. Baseball All-Star’s nickname … or a popular food product : BIG MAC
From what I hear, the secret sauce on a McDonald’s Big Mac’s is just Thousand Island dressing.
“Big Mac” is the nickname of baseball player Mark McGwire. He hit an awful lot of home runs during his playing career. He hit a home run about once every 11 times he was at bat, the best performance in baseball history. He surpassed the record of Babe Ruth who hit a homer about once ever 12 times at bat. The difference though, was that Ruth didn’t take performance-enhancing drugs during his career, which McGwire admitted to using, in 2010.
Crazy Horse’s Lakota name translates literally into English as “His Horse is Crazy or Spirited”. Crazy Horse was one of the tribal war party leaders at the Battle of Little Bighorn, also known as Custer’s Last Stand. Crazy Horse surrendered to the US Army in 1877. He was fatally stabbed while in custody, apparently trying to escape after having surrendered. The circumstances surrounding his death are still shrouded in controversy.
16. Kooky : OUT THERE
“Kooky” is a slang word meaning “out there, crazy”. It has been around since the beatnik era, and it may be a short version of the word “cuckoo”.
18. U.S. Civil War starting point : FT SUMTER
Fort Sumter is a fortification lying on an artificially constructed island in Charleston Harbor in South Carolina. In December 1860, when South Carolina seceded from the Union, US Army forces relocated to Fort Sumter deeming it to be a relatively defensible location. On April 11, 1861, confederate forces demanded that the fort be surrendered. When the defenders refused to budge, confederate artillery opened fire at 4:30 in the morning on April 12, 1861, starting the American Civil War.
19. Financial report abbr. : YTD
Year To Date.
22. Old Chicago Outfit frontman : NITTI
Frank Nitti was one of the top henchmen working for Al Capone. Unlike Capone, who was born in Brooklyn, New York, Nitti was actually born in Italy, near the city of Salerno. When Capone was eventually put away for 11 years for tax evasion, Netti was convicted of the same crime. Nitti was only imprisoned for 18 months, and when released he was labelled as the new head of Capone’s Chicago Outfit. However the truth seems to be that he was just a front man, with others making the decisions.
25. Actor Rogen and others : SETHS
Seth Rogen is a Canadian comedian who got a lot of credit for his supporting role in “The 40-Year-Old Virgin”. That led to him being cast as the lead in the 1970 film “Knocked Up”. I am afraid that I haven’t seen either movie …
27. Register indicator : CLEF
Clef is the French word for “key”. In music, a clef is used to indicate the pitch of the notes written on the stave.
32. Commuting options : ELS
The Chicago “L” is the second largest rapid transit system in the US, with the New York City Subway being the largest. It is also the second oldest, again with the New York Subway system having the honor of being the oldest. Note that the official nickname for the system is the “L”, although the term “El” is also in common use (especially in crosswords as “ELS”). The L is managed by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA).
33. Macaque or marmoset : SIMIAN
The most widely distributed genus of primates on the planet is Homo, a genus containing only one species, man (Home sapiens). The second most populous genus of primates is Macaca, the Old World monkeys known familiarly as macaques. Macaques can be found all across Asia, from Japan to Afghanistan, as well as in North Africa. Some of the most famous macaques live in a colony on the Rock of Gibraltar in the Mediterranean.
A toe loop is a relatively simple jump in figure skating (not that I could do one!). In a toe loop, the skater uses the toe pick on the skate to lift off on a backward outside edge, landing on the same backward outside edge.
39. Argumentative : POLEMIC
“Polemic” can also be spelled as “polemical”, and either way it describes something controversial. The word comes into English from the Greek “polemos” meaning “war”.
43. Cause of a rash reaction? : SUMAC
Sumacs are a group of flowering plants that includes Poison oak, Poison ivy and Poison sumac. Nasty stuff.
45. Reel revolution : DO-SI-DO
The term do-si-do is actually a corruption of a French phrase “dos-a-dos”, meaning back-to-back. And parenthetically, this is just the opposite to the familiar French term “vis-a-vis”, meaning face-to-face. In the do-si-do dance move, the partners start facing each other, then advance past each other’s right shoulder, and then move to the right without turning so that they are now facing away from each other (back-to-back). They complete the move facing in the same direction, passing each other’s left shoulders by moving backwards until they return to the starting position. Did you get that?
46. Settings for much stitching, briefly : ORS
49. Capital near Lake Titicaca : LA PAZ
The capital of Bolivia, La Paz, is officially named Nuestra Senora de La Paz (Our Lady of Peace).
51. Capital near Green Peter Lake : SALEM
Salem is the state capital of Oregon, and it is thought that the city takes its name from the older city of Salem, Massachusetts.
52. NOW head?: Abbr. : NATL
The National Organization of Women was founded in Washington, D.C. in 1966. NOW is focused on six core issues:
– Abortion rights and reproductive issues
– Violence against women
– Constitutional equality
– Promoting diversity and ending racism
– Lesbian rights
– Economic justice
59. John’s neighbor : BIDET
“Bidet” is of course a French word that we imported into English. In French, the word “bidet” originally applied to a small horse or a pony. What we know as a bidet was so called because one can straddle it like a horse in order to use it.
61. Oslo Accords grp. : PLO
The Oslo Accords grew out of secret negotiations between Palestinian Liberation Organization and Israeli delegates in a residence in Oslo. The teams shared the same house while they conducted 14 meetings. While eating all their meals together at the same table, the negotiators came to respect one another and apparently friendships developed.
64. Triple-platinum 1982 album with the #1 hit “Africa” : TOTO IV
Toto is an American rock band dating back to 1977. As well as their famous “Africa”, they also sang another good tune, “Rosanna”.
67. Rodin worked in it : BRONZE
The Rodin Museum is my favorite of all the museums in Paris. The Musée Rodin is very special in that the building and garden that hold all of the works was once Rodin’s actual home and studio. Well worth a visit if you make it to Paris …
2. Signature song of Peter Allen : I GO TO RIO
Peter Allen was an Australian songwriter as well as an entertainer in his own right. He is famous for having won an Oscar for his song “Arthur’s Theme”, as well as his 7-year marriage to Liza Minnelli, followed by a 14-year homosexual relationship with fashion model Gregory Connell.
4. Lt. col.’s inferior : MAJ
The rank of Lieutenant Colonel ranks above a major and below a colonel, in many armed services around the world.
7. Feature of many a Jeep : SOFT TOP
The Jeep is the original, off-road vehicle. It was developed by the American Bantam Car Company in 1940 at the request of the US government who recognized the upcoming military need as American involvement in WWII loomed. The Bantam Company was too small to cope with demand, so the government gave the designs to competing car companies.
8. Producer of simple chords : AUTOHARP
The autoharp isn’t a harp at all, but rather a modified zither. The autoharp has a muting mechanism that when activated mutes all the strings not associated with a chosen chord.
9. Woe while getting clean : DTS
The episodes of delirium that can accompany withdrawal from alcohol are called Delirium Tremens (the DTs). The literal translation of this Latin phrase is “trembling madness”.
11. Like some resistance : OHMIC
The unit of electrical resistance is the ohm, named after German physicist Georg Simon Ohm. Ohm was the guy who established experimentally that the amount of current that flowed through a circuit was directly proportional to the voltage applied, (V=IR) a relationship that is now called Ohm’s Law.
13. Fictional woodcutter’s daughter : GRETEL
Hansel and Gretel is a Germanic fairy tale found in the collection of the Brothers Grimm. It tells of Hansel and Gretel, the children of a woodcutter, who are abandoned in a forest at the behest of an evil stepmother. Clever Hansel hears of the plan, and leaves a trail of pebbles so that he and his sister find their way home. But the children are abandoned again, and this time leave a trail of breadcrumbs. Unfortunately, the crumbs are eaten by birds, so the children do indeed become lost. But, eventually things work out and they all live happily ever after …
14. Character traits? : SERIFS
Serifs are details on the ends of characters in some typefaces. Typefaces without serifs are known as sans-serif (from the French word “sans” meaning “without”). Some people say that serif fonts are easier to read on paper, whereas sans-serif fonts work better on a computer screen. I’m not so sure though …
Lammermoor is a location featured in Donizetti’s opera “Lucia di Lammermoor” which is based on a novel by Sir Walter Scott called “The Bride of Lammermoor”. A more correct spelling of the actual location in Scotland is Lammermuir, with the reference being to the Lammermuir Hills in the southern part of the country. “Lammermuir” translates to “lamb’s moor”.
24. Flip response? : TAILS
Asked to make the call before flipping a coin, one might respond “tails”.
26. Bore : STOOD
Bore, stood, endured …
Dadaism thrived during and just after WWI, and was an anti-war, anti-bourgeois and anti-art culture. The movement began in Zurich, Switzerland, started by a group of artists and writers who met to discuss art and put on performances in the Cabaret Voltaire, frequently expressing disgust at the war that was raging across Europe.
34. “___ of Her Own” (Clark Gable film) : NO MAN
“No Man of Her Own” is a 1932 comedy starring Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, in which Gable and Lombard play a married couple. The film marked the only time that Gable and Lombard worked together, despite the fact that several years later the two were to become husband and wife in real life.
36. Western scenery : MESAS
“Mesa” is the Spanish for “table”. “Mesa” of course is how we get the name “mesa”, a geographic feature.
“What’s the difference between a butte and a mesa?” I hear you cry! Both are hills with flat tops, but a mesa has a top that is wider than it is tall. A butte is a much narrower formation, taller than it is wide. Now we know …
38. One with a notably hard bed : PAPA BEAR
The story of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” was first recorded in 1837 in England, although the narrative was around before it was actually written down. The original fairy tale was rather gruesome, but successive versions became more family oriented. The character that eventually became Goldilocks was originally an elderly woman, and the three “nameless” bears became Papa Bear, Mama Bear and Baby Bear.
40. Wheel-powering reservoir : MILL POND
A mill pond is a reservoir for a mill that is powered by water, often created by building a mill dam across a river or stream. The term “mill pond” is also used in the expression “it’s like a mill pond”, meaning that the water is flat and calm. Famously, the words, “It’s like a mill pond” were uttered by Captain Edward Smith, not long before his ship (the Titanic) hit an iceberg …
42. Cover-up unlikely to fool anyone : COMB OVER
Many, many moons ago as a young, inexperienced businessman, I attended a training seminar in Princeton. We had a fabulous speaker instructing our class all about self-confidence, and poise. He spoke really well, but that comb over he wore … it just didn’t seem to fit his subject matter …
44. “Got it?” : CAPISCE
“Capisce?” is an Italian word meaning “understand?” It comes from the Latin verb “capere” meaning “to grasp, seize”, and is related to our word “capture”.
46. G.M. system with a “Virtual Advisor” : ONSTAR
The OnStar system started back in 1995, a joint venture between GM, EDS and Hughes. The product itself was launched in 1996. Today it is only available on GM cars, although it used to be offered on other makes of car through a licensing agreement. OnStar is a subscription service that packages vehicle security, telephone, satellite navigation and remote diagnostics. You’ve seen the ads, I am sure.
47. Poinciana feature : RACEME
A raceme is a long stalk with flowers placed at equal distances from each along its length. It just keeps growing, and new flowers appear at the tip.
The letter name “zed” has been around since about 1400, and derives from the Greek letter zeta. The spelling and pronunciation of “zee” used in America today first popped up in the 1670s.
53. Doctors with spirits : LACES
Another cleverly worded clue …
We’ve used the word “lace” to mean a net or a string since the 1300s, and in the mid-16th century it started to describe an ornamental net pattern. In the mid-17th century, one used “to lace” one’s coffee or tea with sugar, the idea being that one was “ornamenting or trimming” the beverage. It wasn’t long before “lacing” became reserved for the addition of alcohol to an otherwise “tame” drink.
63. Rondo producer : KIA
Kia Motors is the second largest manufacturer of cars in South Korea, behind Hyundai (although Hyundai is a part owner in Kia now). In recent years, Kia has focused on sales into Europe, and has been remarkably successful.